Renmark & Waikerie Tyrepower
Outside of a Tyrepower store, looking at side of red, blue and white painted building.


"Swanbury heroics give Barmera pennant final" - By Tim Jackson

Tyson Swanbury stared down personal and team defeat to produce a stunning late comeback and lead Barmera to an unlikely Riverland A grade golf pennant at Berri Golf Club on Sunday. With team scores locked at two wins each, the 39-year-old 2 handicapper won the last three holes to go from 2 down to beating the best golfer in the Riverland, Loxton’s reigning club champion and scratch marker Andrew Hume. Swanbury conceded amid emotional scenes after the match that it was the best moment of a decorated golfing career. He is the only member to have played in all five of Barmera’s A grade pennants over the past seven years, but he rated Sunday’s victory as the best.

“When I lipped out for birdie on 15, I knew it all rested on my match. To be honest I thought we were gone,” he said. “Two down against someone as good as Humey with three to play was going to be big ask.”

Swanbury’s next three holes will go down in Barmera golfing folklore. A two-putt par on 16 was good enough to get it back to one down after Hume failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker.

Swanbury then drilled a 290-metre drive down the par four 17th fairway while Humes’ even bigger drive came to rest behind trees and blocked any type of shot to the green. “I have to admit there was a fair bit of adrenalin pumping with that tee shot,” Swanbury admitted later.

Like a title fighter smelling blood, Swanbury pushed home his advantage from the middle of the fairway as Hume stood behind a wall of trees with no option but to hit out wide of the green. Swanbury floated a perfect wedge to within millimetres of the pin for a tap in birdie. Hume conceded the hole after missing his par putt from three metres.

The pennant final came down to the 18th hole of the last game of the day. Swanbury pulled his drive deep into the trees on the left of the par four while Hume sliced his into the trees on the opposite side of the fairway.

Both needed to thread low punch shots through a lot of wood to get back on the fairway. Swanbury, standing amid a throng of Barmera clubmates in deepest, darkest bushland, hit the recovery shot of his life, a hip-high four iron off his back foot, that split the bushes like an arrow and rolled up two within 10 metres of the green.

Hume was not so lucky. His recovery shot found trees and ricocheted across the fairway to more trees and his next shot, from a tight angle, caught a leafy branch and dropped straight down. After pitching his fifth on the green and Swanbury’s chip came to rest just behind the pin, Hume conceded the match and Swanbury and Barmera’s great escape was complete.

It was a 3/2 pennant championship win that looked gone more than once during the day. An emotional Swanbury was in disbelief after the match. ‘Everyone around me was saying not to play that four iron, but I knew I had that shot in me,” he said.

“Before we started I knew I was only about a 30% chance of beating Humey today. It was always going to be really tough. He is always super consistent, so to get up in those circumstances and clinch the pennant ranks right up there.”

Swanbury was elevated to play number one against Hume for the first time this season. It was a surprise move as everyone expected 1 handicapper and former US college golfer Peter Johns to be the obvious match up. Hume is rightfully rated as one of the best golfers ever produced in the Riverland and plays off +1.5 and appeared to have the game in hand for most of the day, but could never quite shake a determined Swanbury.

It was Barmera’s fifth A grade pennant victory in seven years and continues a golden era for a club that has historically struggled for success at the top level in Riverland golf. Loxton could not have got off to a better start to their title defence.

Number five figure Ash Pfeiler, playing in his first A grade final, beat the ever reliable Rod Bedford 3 and 1, and soon after three-time club champion Kym Rivett replicated the effort against Barmera skipper Matt Lewan.

The Johns brothers, Doug and Peter, responded with victories for Barmera to level the final 2-all. Doug overcame the super consistent Brett Proud after getting out to a four hole lead early and then holding off Proud to win 5/4.

“It wasn’t as easy as the scores may suggest,” Doug said. “Brett is very consistent so I was pleased to get out in front.”

It wasn’t so straight forward for Doug’s younger brother. Peter Johns had his hands full with Loxton legend Craig Wooldridge who won four holes in a row on the front nine to be 2 up at the turn. Johns, a big hitting lefthander, struggled off the tee all day, but some of his recovery work had to be seen to be believed.

He responded to the Wooldridge challenge and won holes 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 to go three up with three up to play.

Wooldridge then won the par three 16th with a par and was in the box seat when he was on the par 4 17th green in regulation to force the match down the 18th hole. Johns had other ideas though despite being in a lot of trouble. He failed to extract his 300-metre plus drive out of the trees and then overhit his third through the green and almost out onto the Old Sturt Highway for three. It looked inevitable the game would go down the 18th but Johns produced a bit of magic. From a treacherous position, hard against the boundary fence, high above the green, he somehow squirrelled a dribbling, dusty little downhill chip through the rough to within millimetres of the pin.

No-one could believe it, least of all Wooldridge, who proceeded to miss his par putt from a metre and go down to the big lefthander 2/1.

The result confirmed what everyone was thinking, the final would come down to the number ones, Hume and Swanbury.

Swanbury was humble in victory, but admitted it was his decision to play Hume. The former club champion said he had been spending a lot of time on developing his game and paid tribute to the coaching he had received from Peter Johns.

“We have done a lot of work on building a structure that allows you to execute shots under pressure, like today,” he said. “Thanks to him, I have a process that allows me to get up and know exactly what I am doing instead walking up and just hitting it. Late today that really helped. Peter has made a big difference to how I approach the game.”

In other pennant finals on Sunday, Berri won the B grade pennant in similarly sensational circumstances against Barmera.

Michael Jennings beat Barmera captain Jordan Wright on the 19th hole with the scores tied at 2-all to deliver the victory for the home club. Barmera had gone into the game undefeated after a stellar minor round.

Veteran Paul Mudge finished strongly to overcome Sacha Pietrolaj one up and Wayne Thiele caused an upset by beating the ever reliable Kevin Martin to help give Berri their three wins. Greg Shields, who narrowly missed out on the A grade team on handicap and the undefeated former Renmark player Stephen Knight were Barmera’s winners.

Barmera rounded off a memorable day by winning the C grade with 5-0 clean sweep of Berri. Young rising star Max Jericho, stalwart Brian Finn, Tom Graetz, Tim Wood and Luke Hampshire all finished strongly to deliver the goods in what was Barmera’s strongest ever C grade pennant side.

A grade:

Barmera d Loxton 3-2: T. Swanbury d A. Hume 1 up, P. Johns d C. Wooldridge 2/1, D. Johns d B. Proud 5/4, R. Bedford lost to A Pfeiler 3/1, M. Lewan lost to K. Rivett 3/1.

B grade:

Berri d Barmera 3-2: S. Wade lost to G. Shields 3/2, P. Mudge d S. Pietrolaj 1up,M. Jennings d J. Wright 19th, W. Thiele d K. Martin 2 up, C. Hyde lost to S. Knight 19th.

C grade:

Barmera d Berri 5-0:

B. Finn d S. Renfrey 3/2, L. Hampshire d J. Skinner 2/1, M. Jericho d M. Boon 3up, T. Wood d J. Sweet 1 up, T. Graetz d J. Coombe 2 up

Request a quote

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We are Proud Sponsors of ...