AFTER a ten-year hiatus the Peninsula Sotheby’s Portsea Celebrity Pro Am made a huge comeback in 2023, winning Metropolitan Pro Am of the Year at the Victorian Golf Industry Awards. A major event on the PGA Tour of Australasia’s Golfing Calendar, the 2024 event was also touted as one of the best social outings of the summer.
Proceedings kicked off on 2 January where a crowd of 320 filled the Continental Sorrento. The room included familiar names across the sporting, celebrity and corporate worlds. Pommery champagne, Stone and Wood, and Sticks wines were flowing throughout, as attendees dialled in their arcade skills, winning Swisse gummy products from the Swisse Claw Machine. The night raised over $10,000 for the Sorrento CFA, as Rob Curtain from naming rights sponsor Peninsula Sotheby’s auctioned a TaylorMade club fitting experience; an MGI AI buggy; and a Mornington Peninsula experience – which included a weekend in a Mercedes Benz, courtesy of Mercedes Benz Mornington, accommodation and dining at the Continental Sorrento, and rounds of golf in carts at Portsea.
On the Wednesday, Lucas Higgins, drawn in the Higgins Coatings group, shot six under for the best score in the morning. There was drama throughout, as lightning almost bought the event to a standstill, however some luck meant that play could continue. No one could claim Crown’s $100,000 hole in one on the seventh hole, however the 450 strong in White Top’s marquee were still entertained by a star-studded field of professionals and celebrities, which included Andy Lee holing a 25-foot putt and bringing the crowd to its feet.
The professional event was won by New South Welshman Darcy Boyd, who holed a six footer on the 18th to sign for seven under par and avoid a playoff with Lucas Higgins and Tom Power Horan who finished at six under. Darcy played with winning amateur and Port Adelaide hero Dan Houston who coolly signed for 42 points, which meant that Chris Thoday and the Mercedes Benz Mornington team not only bought home two winners, but also took home the team event, making it a clean sweep.
The Portsea Golf Club are once again contenders for Pro-Am of the year for 2024 while already developing plans for the 2025 event.