Memorial suits Greg to a tee

11th October 2017 3:42 PM
IN MEMORY: The Jackson family with Chris Rutherford (third from right) at Saturday night's gala dinner. IN MEMORY: The Jackson family with Chris Rutherford (third from right) at Saturday night's gala dinner. Alexia Austin

Roma man Greg Jackson was known to all as a loveable larrikin, a man with an infectious laugh and a big love for a good game of golf and a cold one with mates.

Friends say it wasn't unusual to see Greg careering around the course with friends, and often showing up the pros with his understated skills, sticking to the rules at every turn.

At the weekend, friends, family and guests joined together to take part in the first Greg Jackson memorial golf day, after the local legend lost his battle with illness last year.

A number of professional golfers travelled to the Roma golf course on Friday for the three-day memorial, running a number of junior and senior golfing clinics and taking part in an open single stroke and ambrose competition.

On Saturday night, players gathered for a gala dinner at the club house, where awards were presented and loved ones shared their favourite memories of their time with Greg.

Event organiser and close friend Chris Rutherford said the event had been a perfect way to celebrate Greg's life, allowing the guests to take part in a game that had been close to his heart.

"The first time I met Greg was in 1986, when Roma hosted their first ever pro am,” Rutherford said.

"From there on, we became friends and we kept in touch.

"A few years later on he invited me to come to Roma to help promote golf in the area, and we spent time out on his brother's property and to Surat to fish, and we played an exhibition match.

"I have such great memories from that weekend.

"Greg was always an amazing player. In 2006, I returned to Roma with Charlie Earp, Greg Norman's coach, and a number of other golfing professionals to play a game. Greg beat us all that day, all of the professionals. He was such an excellent player but what really shone through was his love for every part of the game.

"Unfortunately shortly after that Greg took ill and had to make trips up to Brisbane for treatment, which is where I was working at the time. It was a hard time, but Greg turned it into a positive, signing up for the Brisbane golf course and coming out with me to have a hit and a catch up every time he was in town.

"When Greg passed, I wasn't able to attend his memorial.

"I just felt like I wanted to do something for him, so I contacted the Roma golf club to see if they were interested, and we set up the event.

"I am hoping, with the huge support we have seen this weekend, that the Greg Jackson memorial game will become an annual fixture. He was always working to promote golf in Roma.”

Scott McDonald was named the gross winner of Saturday's single stroke competition, with AJ Sandhu taking home the nett winner award. Sam Eaves, Barb Slater, Noela Clohessy and Mark Slater won the Sunday ambrose.