It has been a big year to date for reigning Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort champion Jay Ar Martin with three titles to his name and almost beating Australia’s top senior professionals in a shoot-out before the Shepparton BMW Senior Victorian Open Championships on our three wonderful 18-hole courses.
In February this year, Jay Ar competed in the 87 metre shoot-out to see who could get closest to the wine barrel target on the driving range at Silverwood’s Black Bull Golf Course.
In front of a big crowd at the launch of the 2017 Senior Victorian Open Championships, and up against the likes of multi tournament winners throughout the world in Mike Harwood, Rodger Davis, Peter O’Malley and Lucien Tinkler, Jay Ar made the top 10 then went on to finish second, to Mike Harwood.
“I hope to play in the open next year,” 32-year-old groundsman at Black Bull Jay Ar told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
In May, he successfully claimed Player of the Year in Pennant for North-East and Murray Districts, going through undefeated against strong opposition.
“Obviously, it was unfortunate the team didn’t make it to the finals,” Jay Ar said. In June, he successfully defended his title of North-East District winner at Waldara last year, by a commanding six strokes over 27 holes at Bright, from Wangaratta’s Greg Allen.
For the ninth time, he was club champion at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort, with a convincing win in May, by five strokes, with Troy Robertson in second place.
“I had to work hard for that - I was five behind after the second round but played consistently after that,” Jay Ar said.
“Yes it’s been a pretty consistent year. I’ve found my game a lot more solid to other years. I’ve been able to practise here at Black Bull - we’ve got all sorts of conditions and I’ve got help from Andrew (Long) and James (McCully).
“I’ve been able to keep the swing going; my wife (Joy) lets me play. I do thank my whole family for their support.”
Having arrived in Yarrawonga from the Philippines in 1993, Jay Ar was soon introduced to golf and has been playing golf for some 20 years, from “about age 11 or 12”. “Dad won a bag of sticks when I was in Year 5 or 6. I’m glad he did - he forced me to play!” he explained.
“In those days it was all thanks to ‘Macca” (Alex MacKenzie) who taught me how to play golf. It was all enjoyment with him; he helped me.
“I thank the juniors at the time too - Richie (Caracella), Chris (Page), Jarrod (Elliott), Paul and Luke (Banch) for moreso trying to beat each other and we played better.
“I thank all the Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort members for their support, especially Peter Warner, Chris Burgess, Troy Robertson and Darren Edwards.”
Jay Ar is teaming up with Glenn Souter to compete in North-East District’s 2 man Ambrose in August. It will be a formidable pair.
But what of the club championship record by 10-time title holder Gary Page at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort? “It’s an aim for me. Ever since Gary’s won it 10 times, I’ve always wanted to get double figures for the title. My real aim is to surpass Gary.”
Jay Ar is certainly on track to equal the 10-time record then make it 11. A very consistent golfer, he has won the club resort’s highest individual award nine times and finished second or third on the other occasions over some 13 years. Jay Ar may be a most popular record breaker in 2019.