Navy golfers compete on international stage

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ben Robson (author), Department of Defence (photographer)

Location(s): Celtic Manor Golf Course, Wales

Topic(s): Golf, Soldier On

CMDR Tracey Elliott prepares to do battle at Celtic Manor Resort, Wales. (photo: Department of Defence)
CMDR Tracey Elliott prepares to do battle at Celtic Manor Resort, Wales.

Navy golfers have led the challenge for the Clyde Pearce Cup, which brings together injured and ill service men and women fighting back through sport.

Five Navy members were selected to compete at the event which was held at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, host venue of the 2010 Ryder Cup, alongside four from Army and one from Air Force.

Commander Tracey Elliott said she felt a great sense of achievement on being selected for the team which competed back in August.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t bring the cup home but I took my partner all the way to the 18th to square the hole,” she said.

“It was very important just to compete at a representative level and I came home with an amazing boost of confidence.”

Now in its fourth year, the competition is named after Lieutenant Clyde Pearce, the first native-born winner of the Australian Open who was killed while serving in First World War.

CMDR Elliott said that the team faced a number of challenges including jet lag.

“I really enjoyed the Ryder Cup course, but on the second day my partner put me in a bunker on every hole,” she said.

“The British team were also fiercely competitive, whereas we were competitive but we were happy to play our own game.”

The final day of competition was also a chance to pay respect to Jarrod Lyle, the Australian professional golfer who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.

The Australian team wore yellow ribbons and held a minute’s silence, while wearing Australia Belts sent by Lyle’s wife, Briony, from their charity Challenge.

The charity-organised event, run by Australia’s Soldier On and Britain’s Battle Back, was first competed in 2015 and gives members the opportunity to play on some of the world’s most prestigious courses.

“I have always been a great supporter of Soldier On who look after our wounded warriors and their families,” CMDR Elliott said.

CMDR Elliott said the confidence she found on the tour spurred her on to success on return to Australia, with a stableford win at the Australian War Memorial & War Service Trophy held at the Australian Golf Club.

That competition has run since 1919, when it was known as the Victory Trophy and instituted for members of the First World War.