Ipswich young guns inspire rare treble
GOLF: IPSWICH golfers Caleb Marschke and Chase Oberle have helped Queensland to its third successive Craig Parry Cup at the national championships.
Eight boys and four girls from New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and the ACT challenged our home turf heroes across a two day stroke event at a dry Toowomba City course.
The best six male scores and top three female totals would determine the victor.
As the hosts turned up the heat, the southerners wilted.
It was a whitewash with the maroons class evident as they took out the coveted combined boys and girls competition by forty points.
The two-day nett was a harder proposition due to the superior handicaps of the Sunshine State representatives. But the closely-bonded group displayed impeccable sportsmanship, teamwork and individual skill to edge the blues by a single shot. The girls in maroon were runner up. In the four-man ambrose the Queenslanders stamped their authority to wrap up first and second, and emerge triumphant in the girls’ event.
Playing with his snapped ACL held together by a substantial knee brace, Oberle embodied the grit and spirit which this great state is known for.
Upon provision of an easily attained medical certificate, he would have been allowed to traverse the course in a cart. But the tough-as-teak 11-year-old was determined to win on a fair playing field.
“We were really hoping to win the gross and the nett, and bring home the trophy three years in a row,” the Australian champion said.
“It was a new team (from previous years) with new players in it.
“It feels really special. I walked the whole way and I’m proud of myself. I knew it was going to be tough and you hope that you play well.
“It feels really good to win at nationals and have a great time with my friends.”
Understandably elated mother Brooke Oberle was overflowing with pride.
She said the pair, who are becoming best mates, joined forces with others who shared their passion, matched it with the best in the country and came out on top.
“The boys worked well as a team,” she said.
“When they were not playing, they were bonding at the driving range or putt putt.
“They spent every waking moment together. They just gelled.”
Brooke said the blistering and blustery conditions tested even the most durable competitor but the locals stood high above. She said the defending champions also had to deal with all the added pressure of keeping the streak alive and continuing the rich tradition of success.
“I’m very proud of them,” she said.
“It is such an honour to have won it three in a row.
“And they really scrambled for the win in the nett.
“It was very good.
“The two managers were brilliant. The focus was 100 per cent on the team.”
Oberle followed a strict routine of icing and rest to nurse his injured joint through the competition.
News of the ailment spread quickly among competitors and officials, who were shocked at the sight of the hefty device supporting his knee and could not believe his conviction.
“One experienced official said ‘it was a mean feat just for him to be out there’,” Brooke said.
“He didn’t whinge. He walked like everybody else.”
He will undergo surgery in January. He is looking forward to being able to run around again and enjoy other sports.
In the meantime, he and Marschke will be back on the greens this weekend.
“You can’t keep these boys off the golf course,” joked Brooke.