ANOTHER stellar day on Sydney’s beautiful northern beaches Mona Vale Golf Club greeted 116 players in the 29th annual Shipping Industry Golf Challenge on 25 May.

Having been denied a 2020 outing due to COVID-19, it was an enthusiastic crowd which rolled up to the event which is held to raise funds for the cancer research unit at Westmead Children’s Hospital.

Westmead’s Dr Geoff McCowage gave an inspirational address tracing a real-life case at Westmead involving a boy of 12 years whose first diagnosis was that his cancer (affecting his pelvis region) could not be treated.

Dr McCowage then took the audience through intense period of experiments with old and new drugs, changes in dosage strengths and dosage rates and finally surgery to a point three years later where the patient was finally cleared of cancer.

Dr McCowage, then introduced the patient, Riley Flack, who had played as a guest in the DP World team earlier that morning.

There were more than a few tears in the audience as Riley explained how his world had been turned upside down.

“When I was 12, I was in the state hockey team and then I got this cancer – don’t ever get this cancer – it’s horrible,” he said.

Riley then told a spellbound audience about his journey of treatment, a monthly treatment cycle as a three-day outpatient twice a month and then a full week in hospital, the seemingly never-ending drug experimentation and dosages of chemotherapy and finally surgery to removal of part of his pelvic bone, a new pelvis, now held together by screws and even then a post-surgery infection and more surgery.

“But right through it all, I had my family and Dr Geoff with me and they really helped me get through it the time that were really hard – and they were really hard.

“I can’t play hockey anymore because I can’t run so I’ve taken up golf and it was great to be out there today on such a beautiful morning and golf course,” he said.

Riley made a point of thanking all the day’s sponsors and emphasised the importance of the Shipping Industry Golf Day’s contribution to research.

“I hope you keep it up,” he said to end his address which was met with a sustained round of applause.

NOTE: Riley is now a single-figure golfer.

Good results

The day’s financial results have not been finalised but it is expected that the donation to the hospital will be close to $25,000 making the cumulative total donated to the hospital to more than $730,000.

Major sponsors of the day were Adaptalift Hyster, DCN, DP World, MGL Logistics, Patrick and Royal Wolf while the breakfast sponsor was Triton International.

Hole sponsors were 1-Stop, AAT, Antares Marine, Asia World Shipping, Cummins South Pacific,, Evergreen, Hamburg Sud, Integra Technical Services, JPC Reefers, Maersk, Maritime Super, Newcastle Stevedores, Norton Wilson Lawyers, Qube, Seaway, Thermoking and Triton International.

Two rounds of heads’n’tails raised approximately $3000 to add to the day’s fund-raising total.

A highlight from the golf course was the round played by Pravin Singh from the Seaway team.

The lowest handicapped player in the history of the event at plus 4, Pravin carded 13 birdies and five pars on his round, a remarkable 59 off the stick against the par 72 layout at Mona Vale, yielding 45 stableford points.

Four of his birdies were on holes where had to give the course a stroke so his birdies resulted in only 2pts each time

Full results

Individual winner was Nathan Mills (Qube) 54pts; runner-up, John Fardy (Qube) 52pts.

Golf Australia handicap winner, Gareth Parfitt 48pts.

Team winners

1st – Qube (Damien Wilson, Russell Webb, Nathan Mills, John Fardy) 117pts, 2nd MGL Logistics #2 (Graeme Jenkins, Gareth Parfitt, Jason Mitchell, Darren Cutrie) 113pts, 3rd Seaway (Pravin Singh, Harmesh Khatri, Vinesh Mudliar, Haroon Shariff) 109pts, 4th Patrick #2 (Ben Welsh, Adam O’Keefe, Anurag Aggarwal, Sam Read) 106pts, 5th DCN #2 (Paul Wilkinson, Chris Whittle, Chris Wallace-Smith, John Bradridge) 99pts, 6th on a countback from Triton (Craig Baker, John Huang, Sean Morris, Mark Peng) 99pts, 7th MGL Logistics #1 (Daryll McCauley, David Parfitt, Michael Mills, Jeff Bramston) 98pts, 8th Patrick #1 (Matt Kidman, Clint Evans, Nick Rowley, Nick Long) 97pts, 9th Antares Marine (Mick Kelly, Tony Cousins, Dave Dillon, John Wheeler) 96pts, 10th Evergreen (Lex de Bock, Peter de Bock, Shane Fehlberg, Wilson Rojas) 95pts on a countback from three other teams.

Nearest the pins – 2nd Haroom Shariff; 6th Oscar Wilson, 8th Ben Cassidy, 14th Andrew Adam, 16th Rob Wilson; long drive (1st) Ben Welsh; straight drive 11th Daniel Allen.

Bradman winners was Matthew Waight from Royal Wolf.