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The series for everyone

The Webex Players Series offers unparalleled playing opportunities for both male and female professionals, as well as elite amateurs, engaging in fierce competition on an equal playing field for an identical prize purse. The course is meticulously adjusted to ensure fairness and scale accordingly. Over the weekends, the competition includes Elite Juniors and All Abilities golfers, each vying for their unique title, making the Webex Players Series the epitome of inclusivity in the world of golf.

Hosted by iconic Australians, this series places a strong emphasis on genuine equality, inclusion, and social alignment, making it an ideal platform for potential partners seeking to align with these values. Developed in collaboration with the PGA of Australia, PGA Tour of Australasia, and WPGA Tour of Australasia, the Webex Players Series tournaments exemplify the elite level of the sport, showcasing both men and women competing on equal footing.

These tournaments serve as a testament to the sport’s ability to be played at the highest level, with the collaboration of men and women competing side by side. The Webex Players Series, conceived by the PGA of Australia and PGA Tour of Australasia, in partnership with the WPGA Tour of Australasia, aims to redefine golf’s inclusivity and showcase its elite potential for players of all genders.

2022 WINNER

HANNAH GREEN

Pictured: Hannah Green with TPS Murray River Trophy

World No.30 Hannah Green has created a world-first slice of history with a commanding four-stroke victory at the TPS Murray River at Cobram Barooga Golf Club on Sunday.

Part of a four-way tie for the lead through 54 holes, Green oozed class in the final round to compile a five-under par round of 66 for a four-round total of 20-under, the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA champion creating a new place for herself within golf’s history books.

Female golfers have won mixed-gender pro-am events over one and two rounds previously but until today there had been no female winners of a Webex Players Series event or any four-round mixed gender tournament on any major world tour.

Playing alongside Green in the second-to-last group, Sydney’s Andrew Evans (70) held on for a share of second with amateur Hayden Hopewell (65) at 16-under, one clear of Kim (68) and Kobori (69), who herself won a two-day mixed New Zealand PGA-sanctioned pro-am last year.

“I feel amazing. I’m just so grateful that I came. It actually wasn’t my plan to play; I was hoping to go back to Perth. Things happen for a reason so I’m really glad that I made it,” added Green, who last Sunday won the Vic Open title at 13th Beach.

“I wanted to win these two events as soon as I said that I’d enter them. I didn’t think it was a ridiculous goal to try and get my name on these trophies so now that that’s done hopefully I can continue this momentum.

“I want to be in the top-10 in the world. I think I can achieve it. If I keep playing the golf that I am now hopefully I can get there.”

As her three overnight co-leaders were slow out of the blocks, Green leant on her major championship qualities to strike an early blow at the first to edge one in front.

Evans (even), Matt Millar (one over) and Blake Collyer (two over) all stalled through the first five holes but it would be just after the halfway mark that Green took a final stranglehold of the tournament she had lead since Thursday’s opening round.

A superb approach shot just short of the par-5 10th set up a chip-in eagle for Green to move three clear of Evans and when she backed it up with birdie from 20 feet at the par-4 11th extended her lead to four with seven holes to play.

The world No.30 made birdie at the par-5 15th for the fourth day in a row, dropped a shot at the long par-3 16th but then cruised home with two closing pars to achieve a world first for women’s golf.

“Hopefully it’s inspiring the rest of the girls not only in the juniors but in the field to try and get their name on a trophy,” added Green.

“I don’t think this will be the last time these events keep happening. I can easily see 20 on the schedule coming soon hopefully.”

In a dominant week for the women, the top three spots in the TPS Junior Murray River also went to the girls with Sheridan Clancy shooting two-under 69 on Sunday to win by four strokes from Jazy Roberts (73) and Chloe Wilson (75).

2023 WINNER

SARAH JANE SMITH

Pictured: Sarah Jane Smith with TPS Murray River Trophy

Sarah Jane Smith broke a long drought and added her name to the handful of women to have beaten the men in Webex Players Series events with a brilliant close-out performance at Cobram Barooga today in the TPS Murray River tournament.

The Victorian-born, Florida-based 15-year professional played magnificent golf under pressure on the final day, shooting a 6-under 65 to win by five shots.

It is her first win as a professional since 2008 in New York on the secondary American tour, back in a time when she played as Sarah Jane Kenyon, before her marriage to Duane Smith and the arrival of their three-year-old son, Theo, who watched her eclipse of the field over the weekend.

“I think you appreciate it anyway, but after the couple of years I’ve had on the course, it’s just extra special,” she said.

Three of eight iterations of the event have now been won by women – Hannah Green at Cobram Barooga last year, Min A Yoon from South Korea at Rosebud last weekend, and now the 38-year-old Smith.

It was a remarkable day at Cobram Barooga, with 24-year-old New Zealand professional Kit Bittle winning a BMW iX worth more than $100,000 by acing the par-3 3rd hole early in the morning.

Smith shot 63-65 on the weekend to finish at 20-under par overall, five ahead of Victorian Andrew Martin and Queenslander Shae Wools-Cobb at 15-under, while overnight joint leader Matias Sanchez faded to outright fourth at 14-under.

Smith lost her full playing rights on the LPGA Tour at the end of 2022 and was close to quitting. But a trip to visit Sunshine Coast mastercoach Grant Field, the mentor of Cameron Smith, changed her thinking.

“I didn’t feel done at the end of last year, but I knew I wasn’t in the right place for (LPGA) Tour school. I thought I’d come home, play the Aussie Open, it worked out that I could see Grant, spend some time with him.

“He’s been drumming into me that ‘it’s not over unless I want it to be’. To see everything come together this quickly is incredible. Because I was basically done at the end of last year, unless something changed drastically. I’m pretty happy, a little bit surprised with this.”

Smith was superb on the final day. She missed just one fairway, and only two greens. When she erred at the par-3 ninth and found a bunker, she holed a three-metre putt to save par.

She was challenged by Martin, who birdied the first four holes, jarred a wedge for eagle on the 13th and moved within one of the lead, but the Vic PGA winner faltered at the 14th fatally. His flared second shot sailed out of bounds, led to a double bogey, and ruined his chances.

Smith’s buffer was picked up quickly, a birdie from close range at the 13th gave her some comfort, and she was able to parachute in with five straight pars.

“Grant gave me one thing that made me feel good all day,” she said. “He told me to enjoy the (expletive) out of it, but he told me ‘just because you feel different doesn’t mean the skills won’t be the same’. That’s something I’ve felt when I was nervous before, I worried it would go away. I’d hit one bad shot and it would snowball. Today I kept repeating that, reminding myself that just because I felt like that, it wasn’t going to be any different.”

Martin shot 66 and was gallant on the day in trying to chase down Smith.

As for Smith, she will play the Vic Open at 13th Beach this coming week and TPS Sydney at Bonnie Doon, before returning to the US to try her luck again.

She appears to be a different player altogether, and the $45,000 winner’s cheque will help, too.
Cameron Pollard from Sawtell Golf Club near Coffs Harbour won his second consecutive All Abilities championship, backing up from Rosebud last week.

Pollard, who is also playing in the All Abilities event at the Vic Open next week, was 19-over par through two rounds.

In the TPS Junior Players Series, Melbourne’s Max Fedmowski, 17, played a superb round of 3-under 68 to win by nine shots. The Sandhurst member played in the final group with Smith and Sanchez, and held his nerve wonderfully well.

Soon afterward he jumped in a car back to Melbourne to play in a qualifying event for the Vic Open on Monday morning, proving the adage that golf is nothing if not relentless.

In Honour of Jarrod Lyle

Jarrod Lyle was a sports-mad kid from Shepparton in the Goulburn Valley Region who went on to become one of Australia’s most admired sportspeople. He was known and admired not only for his golfing talents but also as a result of his brave fight against acute myeloid leukaemia, a battle he faced three times from the age of 17.

On and off the course Jarrod was renowned for his huge presence, easy going nature and fun personality.

Jarrod turned professional in 2004 after a strong amateur career. In 2005 he had some great finishes on the Asian Tour before being runner up at the 2006 NZ PGA Championship, an event co-sanctioned on the Nationwide Tour (now Korn Ferry Tour) in the US. With several strong finishes throughout 2006 on the Nationwide Tour and a finish inside the Top 25 on the money list, he earnt his PGA Tour card for the 2007 season and prepared for his first year as part of the ‘big show’. After a tough 2007 season where he was unable to keep his card, Jarrod returned to the Nationwide Tour in 2008 and went on to enjoy two wins and a 2nd, ending the season in 4th place on the money list to return to the PGA Tour in 2009.

While the next few years were a battle to keep his card on the PGA Tour and saw him take on qualifying school on a couple of occasions, Jarrod was definitely making inroads to belonging at the very upper echelons of the game. In February 2012 he had his best finish in a fully-fledged PGA Tour event with a tied 4th at the Northern Trust Open. Unfortunately, within two weeks of this great result, Jarrod was to find out the devastating news that he was suffering from a recurrence of his leukaemia.

With the help of a stem cell transplant, Jarrod again overcame leukaemia. After confirming he was in remission, he returned to professional golf in extremely emotional scenes on the first tee at Royal Melbourne for the 2013 Australian Masters. Jarrod surprised everyone, even himself, by making the cut at that event, a remarkable effort and one that truly embodied his grit and determination and showcased many of the traits the Australian and worldwide sporting public had fallen in love with. He would go on to play a further 20 events on the PGA Tour in 2014 but was unable to keep his full status.

Sadly, Jarrod’s leukaemia returned for a third time in July 2017 and he passed away in August 2018 at just 36 years of age.

There’s no doubt that Jarrod packed a huge amount into his short life, however it was the tremendous work he did off the course with Challenge that he will also be remembered for. Challenge is a not-for-profit organisation that provides daily support for children and families living with cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder. Jarrod was a member of Challenge as a teenager following his first diagnosis, and went on to become an official ambassador for the organisation in 2004. Along with his good mate and fellow professional Robert Allenby, he proudly wore a Leuk the Duck badge and carried a Leuk the Duck driver cover whenever he played in a professional event. Through Jarrod’s health battles over the years, the image of Leuk has become synonymous with childhood cancer and with Jarrod’s legacy of helping to support kids who are facing a similar experience to his own.

That legacy continues to live on and flourish in his absence, and is supported by Jarrod’s wife, Briony, and the work she does for Challenge, including the nationwide #DoingItForJarrod fundraising campaign, Yellow Day at the Australian PGA Championships and the sale of a range of Leuk the Duck merchandise items.

In the months following Jarrod’s death and as sign of respect for his legacy, Leuk the Duck badges were worn by professional golfers all over the world, including Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler. To this day, Leuk retains a strong presence on the PGA and European Tours with the help of Challenge ambassador, Tour champion and fellow Victorian, Lucas Herbert.

TPS Murray River wishes to pay tribute to one of Australia’s most cherished golfers by playing this event in Jarrod’s honour, but to also ensure his legacy continues by supporting the efforts of Challenge to raise much-needed funds that ensure young children and their families get the support they need.

To this end, people who knew Jarrod from various parts of his life will be engaged throughout tournament week to ensure the event is a resounding success and to honour one of golf’s most loved figures.

TPS Murray River 2023 Highlights

MAJOR SPONSORS

Cobram Barooga Business & Tourism

Cisco Webex

Willow Cobram Resort

Cobram Electrical and Data

CIF Poolside

Hutcheon & Pearce

BMW

PVS Gaming & Monitoring

Crawford Civil

Golph

CORPORATE SPONSORS

Shepparton BMW

Treasury Wine Estates

Mattina Fresh

Golf on the Murray

Coca Cola Europacific Partners

CLUB SPONSORS

Menthas Surf & Street Supply

Hungie Fangs

Moggs Accounting + Advisory

Power Canvas, Upholstery & Blinds

CPE Construction

Club Tocumwal

Carlton United Breweries

Hicks Transport

MON Natural Foods

Cobram Refrigeration & Air Conditioning

Cobram Toyota

O’Loughlin Excavations

Sportsmans Motor Inn

Supreme Meats

MS Constructions

Barooga Hotel

Bourke Hire

Cobram Barooga Golf Resort

Cobram Mitre 10

Legacy Packing

Living Turf

Innovative Milking

Coulter’s Plumbing

Ovens Murray Land Survey

Yarrawonga Refrigeration & Airconditioning

Foott Waste

Federation Transportables

KAYO BROADCAST – CLICK IMAGE

CATCH UP ON THE FINAL 2 DAYS OF THE 2022 & 2023 TPS MURRAY RIVER

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