Bernie’s Monthly Medal Winners – November 2013.

Here is my Monthly Medal winners and also a handful of losers for November 2103.


The month of November produced a number of credible victories including Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in capturing the WGC – HSBC Champions, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson finishing ahead of boyhood hero, Tiger Woods to win the very first Turkish Airlines Open.

And we saw Sweden’s Henrik Stenson end his best-ever season in winning the DP World Tour Championship to become European No. 1

Woods may head the World Rankings but Stenson has been arguably the best player on the planet since finishing third in July’s Scottish Open.

And with the European Tour soon to announce the 2013 Player of the Year who can deny the affable Swede.

Jason Day and Adam Scott, winners of the 2013 World Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club (Photo: Anthony Powter)

Jason Day and Adam Scott, winners of the 2013 World Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club (Photo: Anthony Powter)


It was an extremely emotional decision for Jason Day to represent Australia in the World Cup of Golf despite losing family members killed in Typhoon Haiyan.

Day had returned from his US residence to team with Adam Scott despite losing his grandmother, an uncle and six young cousins in the typhoon that recently struck the Philippines.

And the runner-up to Scott in this year’s Masters revealed his mother learnt of her own mother’s death on the social media site Facebook.

“Everyone by now has seen what is going on in the Philippines as it’s very devastating and sad to see what has gone on following the typhoon”, said Day.

“Obviously, it is not the way you want to find out you lost someone you loved so much, so I am definitely looking forward to seeing my mum at the end of this week and just to give her a hug because I know she’s gone through some hard times.

“So what I really want to do this week is really focus on the golf as it is a big week for Melbourne, for Australian golf and for Adam and myself”.

Day lived up to his words capturing individual honours for his first-ever pro victory in Australia, and teaming with Scott do deliver the home nation team honours.


Victor DUBUISSON (FRA) on the 18th green to win during round 4 of the Turkish Airlines Open presented by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, hosted at the The Montgomerie Maxx Royal,Antalya,Turkey. Picture: Fran Caffrey

Victor DUBUISSON (FRA) on the 18th green to win during round 4 of the Turkish Airlines Open presented by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, hosted at the The Montgomerie Maxx Royal,Antalya,Turkey.
Picture: Fran Caffrey

BEST QUOTE OF THE MONTH – Victor Dubuisson

Frenchman Victor Dubuisson was a surprise winner of the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open, winning in front of the likes of reigning US Open champion Justin Rose, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, England’s Ian Poulter plus Dane Thomas Bjorn and also World No. 1 Tiger Woods.

On the final day Dubuisson teed off in the final pairing and with the 14-time Major winning Woods out in the penultimate group.

And when the quietly-spoken Frenchman was asked after securing victory who was his boyhood hero growing up Dubuisson smiled and responded:  “He was playing the group ahead of me!”


Isleworth neighbours Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson added spice to the inaugural Final Series in revealing a little side bet.

Poulter bet Stenson $100 at 10 – 1 that he would finish the European Tour season ahead of his Swedish neighbour and with the loser to serve drinks to the eventual winner.

And while Poulter was seen teasing Stenson in mimicking a drinks waiter by draping a while towel of his arm, it was the Englishman who lost the bet.

Here’s cheers to some great friendly banter among two of Europe’s great competitors.

BEST HOTEL – Maxx Royal, Belek, Turkey.

The 7-Star Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi set new standards for European Tour host hotels. 

However the Maxx Royal Hotel at Belek, and host hotel for the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open, raised the bar.

Located on the Mediterranean Sea shorelines the Maxx Royal Hotel is an all-inclusive hotel where you don’t pay for a single item – and that includes as many drinks as you like.

There was champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries in the foyer to a breakfast room so large where it was easy to get lost.

And what made the stay more attractive was that it was just a short buggy ride from the front of the hotel the golf course.

BEST GOLF COURSE PLAYED – Metropolitan, Melbourne, Australia

I was fortunate, and with thanks to tournament organisers, to play three championship venues in November – Sheshan (WGC- HSBC Champions), Montgomerie Maxx Royal (Turkish Airlines Open) and Royal Sydney (Australian Open).

All three were superb but then Metropolitan gets my monthly medal. 

‘Metro’ is one of the Melbourne Sandbelt gems and after an absence of over a decade I was reminded just how a golf course it is.


Of course, it is going to be difficult to knock an airline when you get upgraded from row 24 to seat 1A as was my situation in travelling Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Dubai.

Turkish Airlines is a relatively new and very aggressive marketing new international airline that has quickly ticked all the boxes when it comes to check-in luggage and also the non-charging for golf clubs.

BEST PRE-TOURNAMENT PROMOTION – Tiger Woods on the Bosphorus Bridge, Istanbul

The world’s top golfers are asked to undertake a wide spectrum of activities in the days ahead of a tournament.

However organisers of the Turkish Airlines Open scored a coup in enticing 14-time Major winning Tiger Woods to hit golf balls on the Bosphorus Bridge linking Europe with Asia.

Depsite the inconvenience for local traffic the pictures on Woods hitting golf balls on the road deck of the bridge was a PR success and with the pictures be seen all around the world to bring further interest to the inaugural European Tour event


Bernie talking with Tiger after poor light halted play on day one of the Turkish Airlines Open.  (Exclusive photo - Stuart Adams/

Bernie talking with Tiger after poor light halted play on day one of the Turkish Airlines Open. (Exclusive photo – Stuart Adams/


It was the lavish ballroom of the Maxx Royal Hotel and the day prior to the commencement of the Turkish Airlines Open.

I had spoken to Tiger Woods just over a week earlier about the controversy involving Brandel Chamblee.

It was a world exclusive with Woods breaking his silence over the issue.

And with a ballroom full of Turkish Government officials, sponsors, Tour officials, the world’s media including around 20 TV cameras Woods was asked by a Scottish-born colleague if he had received a personal apology from Woods.

You don’t expect plaudits in this industry but it while I was left red-faced, it was comforting to hear Woods respond: 

Well, I’ve said everything I am going to say.  I talked to Bernie about it when I was in Hainan Island, and that’s it.”                    

Bernie with Australia's first-ever Masters champion.

Bernie with Australia’s first-ever Masters champion.

PHOTO OF THE MONTH – Bernie with Masters Champion Adam Scott

Reigning Masters Champion Adam Scott attended the annual dinner of the Australian Golf Writers Association wearing his Masters winning green jacket.

And Adam graciously allowed me to be photographed beside him for one of those unique opportunities in golf.

MERCEDES MISSES PR GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY Stuart Manley’s Royal Melbourne ace. 

Welshman Stuart Manley was not to know the prize of a gleaming new Mercedes was only on offer for an ace on the final day of the World Cup of Golf at Royal Melbourne.

It’s just when Manley holed out at the third hole and then walked over to pat the roof of a Mercedes parked at the back of the tee it was Friday.

But as Manley made his way onto the green waiting for him was Tour Chief Referee, John Paramor who broke the bad news to him.

Given the coverage Mercedes received the German car-making giant could very well come to the party with an alternative off to Manley such as the use of a Mercedes.

NO OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL – 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games organisers.

If this year’s World Cup of Golf was supposed to be a harbinger of the likely format when golf returns to the Olympics in 2016 then organisers need to act or the Games will become just another tournament.

There was 26 teams competing in this year’s World Cup but it was only through the luck of the draw on the final draw that Germany and Brazil players competed in the same group.

Golf fans heading to the Olympic Games will want to see their countrymen competing as a team.

OUT-OF-BOUNDS AWARD OF THE MONTH – AGWA President, Brendan Moloney.

It was totally out-of-bounds the remark made by Moloney at the annual dinner of the Australian Golf Writers Association that in presenting Adam Scott with the ‘Golfer of the Year’ award he should mention there was ‘one of our overseas members who didn’t agree’.

Let me remind Moloney I had been one the first to proudly shake Adam’s hand in winning the Masters.

I wrote nearly a dozen separate stories following Adam’s history making success that were combined to be recognised at the AGWA dinner with the award of Internet Story of the Year.

However when the Secretary of the AGWA sent out a group email indicating Scott should straightaway be voted ‘Golfer of the Year’ I first agreed but with the comment we should also wait to see as to what unfolds in the following three Majors.

Being also on the committee of the AGW I sought only to be rational.

Of course, an Australian did not win not win the remaining three Majors but never did I believe, that despite no names being mentioned by Moloney, it would be thrown back in my face at our annual dinner.

SPOILED A ONCE ONLY PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – Bruce Nagle son of golf’s oldest living Major Champion.

It was to be an Australian golfing opportunity first – Australia’s first-ever Masters champion meeting with golf’s oldest living Major winner.

Kel Nagle, winner of the 1960 Open Championship, was so excited Adam Scott was coming to visit him he told everyone he spoke to.

Everything seemingly was locked in place for Adam to visit Kel early of the week of then Australian Open.

But alas Bruce Nagle stepped-in.

It is understood Kel was very disappointed while there were many more, including Adam, who also expressed their disappointment in Kel’s son not only depriving his ailing father of the happiness of meeting Adam but the golf world of this once only photographic opportunity.



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