One of the biggest Volkswagen Scrambles of the season delivered an intra-club fight for a place at the national final that went down to the wire.
There is a debrief following virtually every round of golf, but when the three teams advancing to the Regional Final finish first, second and third and are separated by a total of just 0.2 of a shot for a spot at the Championship Final, short-sides, lip-outs or a bounce of the ball hurt all that much more.
Throughout Australia the completion to earn a place in the Championship Final at Twin Waters was fierce until, like so many sporting events around the world, the Volkswagen Scramble finale became another victim of the coronavirus outbreak. With wonderful support from South Yarra Volkswagen Dealer Principal Franics Mohammed Southern Golf Club’s Scramble attracted 160 starters, which in turn entitled them to three groups adnacing to the Regiona Final at Keysborough on 2 March.
The club’s teams swept the top three spots that day, Head Professional Peter Manzie’s group edging out Golf Operations Manager Jane Bell’s team on a countback with PGA Professional Steve Kent and his team just 0.2 of a shot back in third. The local qualifier was Manzie’s first day back at Southern after eight months at Rossdale Golf Club and he admitted that the incredible result was a topic of discussion when he and Bell got back to the South pro shop.
“Jane and discussed a few of the holes where they could have gone better, the holes where we made some putts,” Manzie said. “Apparently our back-nine was one shot better than theirs. We had 7-under and they had 6-under and that was the difference between winning and losing. We birdied our last hole, the long par 4, and one of the ladies in our group, Lesley, playing off 32, holed a 20-footer for us.”
The Volkswagen Scramble, hosted by South Yarra Volkswagen in conjunction with the team at Southern, extends far beyond a one-day event. A member at Southern for the past 27 years, Mohammed puts 15 cars on display around the course for the week leading up to the event, his head detailer spending an hour at the cub each morning making sure the cars look their best and fielding questions from interested golfers. Over the past two years Mohammed has provided additional hats and shirts to those who reach the regional final and believes the shared commitment makes it a rewarding experience for everyone.
“You would actually think you are attending the Championship Final the way that we set it up at Southern,” Mohammed says. “I was a little bit wary mixing business with pleasure and sponsoring events at the club initially but to now see how the club has embraced it and how well it works for both of us, I couldn’t be happier.”
For Manzie and Southern Golf Club management, that corporate support ensures the Volkswagen Scramble will continue to be a highlight on the clubs competition calendar each year. “He puts a lot of prizes that goes beyond what I imagine most dealers would do,” said Manzie. “From what I understand this is the first time Southern has ever had a team go to the Championship Final and I certainly have never been,” Said Manzie.
“I’ve never won anything. I’m a once-a-month golfer if I’m lucky. I haven’t really played in anything competitive and I know there is a good prize purse for the pros. I might even do a bit of practice before I head up there.”