Feature Blogs

A Golf Story: Just When You Think You've Seen It All

Created on Tuesday, 13 December 2011 21:38
Written by Matthew Toomey


An Amazing Golf Story


I have to share a golf story to start this week’s Film Pie blog.  I’ve spent the last week in Melbourne accompanying 6 Queensland golfers who were competing in the 2011 Victorian Amateur Championships.


On Saturday, I was watching the second round of the men’s event and caught up with a particular group as they completed their first nine.  The group included Victorian Todd Sinnott who was 5 under after 9 holes around Commonwealth Golf Club.  He then birdied the first 4 holes of the next nine to reach 9 under par through 13 holes.  It was amazing to watch.  I turned to the Queensland coach and said something along the lines of “I’m watching on 59 watch and I’m not leaving this group until they finish”.  Unfortunately, Sinnott stumbled with a bogey and double bogey on the run home to finish with a 66 (6 under par).  It was still the best score of the day.


Just when you think you’ve seen it all in sport, something new pops up to amaze you.  Let’s just say that if this next story was in a movie then I wouldn’t have believed it.


The final round of the event was held Sunday at Kingston Heath which is ranked as the number one course in Australia (see here).


I was walking the course and trying to keep up with the Queensland guys who were spread across a few different groups.


I caught up with one of the groups as they completed the 9th hole (their 6th hole of the round as it was a shotgun start).  One of the players, Western Australia’s Cruze Strange, rolled in a 30 foot birdie putt to be 6 under through 6 holes.  He then stepped up on the 10th tee (their 7th hole of the round) and he hits it to 2 feet.  The birdie puts him 7 under after 7 holes!


Rick Coleman from Queensland then steps up and then makes a hole-in-one – which I captured with my digital SLR.  First one I’ve seen live in years!


In a similar vein to the day before, I declared that I’d be following this group for the rest of the day.  Lucky I did.  Cruze holed his 50m approach shot on the 14th for an eagle and came to the last hole of the day at 9 under par.  It all looked to be coming unstuck though after he hooked he tee shot into the bush and was forced to take an unplayable lie.  He had one final piece of brilliance in him.  Cruze ran his next shot up onto the green and then holed a 12 foot par putt for 63 (9 under par).


He has just come from 10 shots behind to win the event by a single shot!


I can now say tell everyone that I saw someone shoot the lowest score ever on Australia’s number one golf course.  Oh, and I also saw a hole-in-one.  Does it get any better than that?


I took a few photos from the day and you check them out on Facebook by clicking here.


Awards Season Update


Several critics groups have announced their award winners over the past week and to bring you up to speed, here they are…


Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Best Picture – The Descendants

Best Actor – Michael Fassbender (Shame, A Dangerous Method)

Best Actress – Yun Jung-hee (Poetry)

Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Best Supporting Actress – Jessica Chastain (every single film)


Boston Film Critics Association

Best Picture – The Artist

Best Actor – Brad Pitt (Moneyball)

Best Actress – Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn)

Best Supporting Actor – Albert Brooks (Drive)

Best Supporting Actress – Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)


San Francisco Film Critics Association

Best Picture – The Tree Of Life

Best Actor – Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Best Actress – Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin)

Best Supporting Actor – Albert Brooks (Drive)

Best Supporting Actress – Vanessa Redgrave (Coriolanus)


Indiana Film Critics Association

Best Picture – The Artist

Best Actor – Paul Giamatti (Win Win)

Best Actress – Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)

Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis (The Help)


A few other critics associations (San Diego, St Louis, Detroit) have announced nominees (5 in each categories) but won’t reveal the winners for a little while.


The Artist leads the way so far in the best picture race.  Centrebet has it as a $1.75 favourite already to take home the most prestigious Oscar statuette.


I’m not as convinced that it will win.  It’s a very good film (and I won’t be too upset if it actually wins) but I think it has its weaknesses.  It drags a little in the last hour as the story struggles to go the distance.  It leaves me asking the question – would people be as enthusiastic about the film (and in particular its screenplay) if it weren’t told using black and white?  I realise that’s part of the film’s charm but I saw a few movies this year that had a more compelling story  (e.g. The Descendants, The Skin I Live In, Shame, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).


The acting races are still wide open.  Last year, Colin Firth cleaned up most of the critics’ awards en route to an Oscar victory.  That won’t be the case this year.  As noted above, we have 4 different actors winning best actor, actress and supporting actress.  It’s only the supporting actor category that seems to have narrowed – now a duel between Albert Brooks (Drive) and Christopher Plummer (Beginners).


Later this week, we’ll be able to cross a few contenders off the list.  If you don’t earn a Screen Actors Guild nomination or a Golden Globe nomination, your chances are all but gone.  We’ll see how it plays out.


I’ll be doing my top and bottom 10 list for the year in a future blog but do tune into ABC Digital across Australia this Sunday at 1:30pm AEST (12:30pm Brisbane time) to hear me talk about the best films of the year with host Phil Smith.  It should be a great show!