Second chance secures 17th Club Champ title

May 1, 2014

John Mansfield won his 17th Green Acres Golf Club Championship recently

but it was the manner in which he did it that was most bizarre.

The 51-year-old needed to play one extra round of matchplay to get the job done. Mansfield actually lost his semi-final match 2 & 1, but not before his opponent, Mark Tucker, had submitted an incorrect scorecard during the previous day’s 36-hole qualifying stage.

“On the Sunday night after our semi-final, he realised that he put an incorrect scorecard in so he was disqualified,” Mansfield said.

The club’s committee decided to reinstate Mansfield and Tucker’s quarter-final opponent,  Paul Thaw. Mansfield admitted his biggest mental challenge during the event was  preparing for his second semi-final.

“After I got beaten in the semi-final, I just felt like I was a little bit over it all and in a way was a little bit relieved that I was out of it,” Mansfield revealed. “It was just so much golf and I was struggling with sore feet.”

He defeated Thaw in the second semi-final to set up a 36-hole decider against fellow member Adam McLean, which Mansfield won convincingly, 5 & 3.

“Once I knew I was in the final, it was a lot easier because you get motivated,” Mansfield
said. “You actually realise, ‘oh I’ve got a chance to win this again’. You like to think your pride kicks in at some point.

It was a strong standard of play in the final. Mansfield fired the equivalent of a four-under
67 in the morning round, but that was only good enough for a two-hole lead at lunch.

“He hit it a long way past me but he threw in a couple of three-putts towards the end and I
didn’t make too many mistakes,” Mansfield said. “I think I ended playing about 123 holes in
total. It ended up being a hell of a lot of golf, that’s for sure.”

Mansfield is now 10 club championships clear of the next most prolific winner of the club’s premier event. He said his 17th title felt more special than his very first victory back in 1983.
Mansfield has spent the past two decades working for golf maintenance equipment company David Golf and hasn’t devoted as much time to his golf in recent years. His preparation leading into the championship included only 18 holes each Saturday plus no
more than two weekly sessions of up to an hour on the practice range.

“A bloke like me really shouldn’t be winning them if they had some really good juniors around,” Mansfield said. “Places like Green Acres and Kew, good juniors come through
but they disappear because they go to the sandbelt. They get to the age of 15 or 16 and they might win one but two years later they’re elsewhere. That’s the main reason why I’ve won so many I reckon. It would be nice to see a couple of juniors come through.”

Mansfield has achieved his dominance at club level despite never having a hole-in-one. “It’s a bit of a running joke that I’ve never had a hole-in-one. Whenever anybody has one, I’m the first to be notified,” Mansfield laughed.

But Mansfield wouldn’t trade a single club championship for an ace.

“I always threatened that I’d swap a couple but I probably wouldn’t because I’ve enjoyed every single one of them.”


source: Inside Golf May 2014 Issue -