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BLUEFIELD, Va. — This was one albatross that Zach Toohey didn’t mind. Neither would anyone else on a golf course.

Lost in the excitement of Graham’s Group 2A state golf championship won last week was Toohey holing out the rarest of all golf shots.

It was the middle of the second round and Toohey was on the fairway at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club in Front Royal, Va., contemplating his second shot on the par five ninth hole.

Of course, Toohey wanted to make the shot, but who ever does that? A double eagle is so rare that it has happened exactly 18 times in the four major championships dating as far back at 1870.

This, of course, was the high school version of a major championship.

Pressure anyone? Not for Toohey, who recorded what is called an albatross in golf, recording a three-under par score on the hole, which in this case was a double eagle.

“He can handle the pressure, when the pressure gets high and the stakes get higher he plays better,” Graham golf coach Matt Dixon said. “He will tell you he didn’t have a great regular season by any means, but when it comes down to it and the pressure is on, he definitely steps up his game to a different level.”

He certainly did on this shot.

“I had a blind shot into the green, I was like ‘You know what, this is the state championship, I have got to do it, I have to go for it,’” Toohey said.

Would you believe the ball went in the hole? Toohey did.

“I hit it and I knew I hit it perfect, right over the left side of the tree and I saw it hit right below the green and I looked over and I didn’t see it,” Toohey said. “I said ‘Where did it go, where did it go,’

“The Marion coach knew it went in, he didn’t tell me, he said, ‘I don’t know’. “I told my coach, ‘Did you see that go in’ and he was like ‘No’.”

Yet, somehow, Toohey knew.

“I said, ‘I am pretty sure it went in’,” he said. “I walked down there and I picked it up out of the hole and I was like ‘See.’”

That gave Toohey the individual lead at that point over Amanda Hollandsworth of Floyd County, but he struggled down the stretch, getting a disputed two-stroke penalty for throwing a club on 13.

“One of the guys that I was with, he said I threw my club at my bag,” Toohey said. “My principal and my coach and my grandmother and her friend were there, and we are going to appeal it to the VHSL that I did nothing out of anger.

“None of that was out of anger, and I swear to that.”

Toohey said he did what many golfers do, simply toss a club ahead with no ill intent in mind. The officials didn’t see it that way.

“(The bag) was at least six or seven feet away from me and I tossed my club and my headcover and I made my par putt, it was like a 15-foot par putt,” Toohey said. “I don’t understand why it was called, but we still won.

“It didn’t take away from our team at all and I am just happy for that.”

While Toohey had to settle for second place and a second all-state honors in three years of state golf competition, he won where it counted most.

“Just to know to that I finally accomplished and we all accomplished what all we have set out for,” Toohey said. “Just to know that we got it and we finally are the first team ever for Graham High School to win a golf state championship.”

Fellow senior Ben Ramsey, who had been Graham’s most consistent player throughout the season, wasn’t surprised to see Toohey step it up big again when it counted most.

“Zach just plays his game, he has got a lot of swagger about his game and he is really confident and when he gets in a situation like the state tournament, he focuses so much,” Ramsey said. “I don’t know if I have ever seen anything as focused as much as he does. He is a great player when he focuses, we just wish he could focus all year long.”

While Toohey was focused on the team title, he still had hopes entering the second round of winning individual medalist honors, trailing Floyd County product Amanda Hollandsworth by two strokes.

“After the first day I knew she was a very good player and she wasn’t going to mess up, I would have to play my best game,” said Toohey, who took a lead on Hollandsworth after his double eagle on 9.

That lead disappeared, and Toohey didn’t use the excuse that Hollandsworth may have had an advantage playing from the women’s tees.

“The only thing I really want to say about that is Amanda Hollandsworth is a great golfer,” Toohey said. “She did what she needed to do to win that, some golf course women’s tees aren’t really that much different.

“In my opinion on that golf course it didn’t play that much of a difference, but the golf course was still hard no matter what. Sometimes women don’t hit it as far as guys, but in her case she hits it as far as I do and she is a good golfer and I hope the best for her, I really do.”

Hollandsworth is bound next for Virginia Tech. Toohey also hopes to get his chance to play at the college level.

“I would love to play college golf, I really haven’t decided where I want to go to school yet,” Toohey said.

“I want to exceed at the college level and play golf there, that would be a dream, that is always what I have wanted to do...

“I am going to try to get stronger, get mentally stronger and be able to hit the ball a little bit farther and get my endurance up.”

 Toohey, Ramsey, William McGuire and Jacob Britton have played together for years, working to reach the goal that has now be accomplished.

No wonder Toohey hasn’t stopped smiling since Graham secured that state title.

“We have just been playing together since we were little and to see us finally get that state ring, get that state championship, there is nothing better,” Toohey said. “There really isn’t.”  


Moorabool mayor Pat Toohey to hand over the reins
Moorabool will soon have a new mayor, with Cr Pat Toohey confirming he will not put his hand up for the top job this year. Councillors will vote for a new leader at the Ballan chambers tomorrow evening, with Paul Tatchell and Tom Sullivan expected to stand.“We’ve got some really experienced councillors and it’s a tough question over who could win, but I’ll be standing,” Cr Tatchell said.Cr Sullivan said he was standing because he believed he had much to offer. “It’s a healthy part of democracy, the more people that are involved,” he said.Cr Toohey said it had been a privilege to work for the people of Moorabool.“Between family and business commitments, I’ve determined I’ll be stepping aside and opening the position up for another councillor,” he said.This was Cr Toohey’s third stint as mayor, following terms in 2009 and 2010.



EVANSTON, Ill. -- The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan women's soccer team tied a program record for longest winning streak (seven), downing Northwestern, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 27) at Lakeside Field. senior Meghan Toohey (Philadelphia, Pa./Phil-Mont Christian) scored a goal each,





The Bluefield Daily Telegraph Thu Oct 24, 2013, 12:11 AM EDT
BLUEFIELD, Va. — Zach Toohey had jokingly made the comment during a pre-state tournament interview that if the Graham G-Men didn’t win the Group 2A golf championship, he would never pick up another club.

Play on Zach, play on G-Men.

“I can’t even fathom the excitement in me,” Toohey said. “The fact of it all is we did it. We finally accomplished it. Just like I told you after regions, we are going to go up there and we are going to win. That is all I could say to you and we did it.”

Definitely. The G-Men outlasted Stonewall Jackson by seven strokes to capture the 2A state championship on Oct. 14-15 at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club in Front Royal, Va.

Toohey led the way, finishing second overall to Amanda Hollandsworth of Floyd County with a two-round total of 149. Graham had finished third — missing out on second in a playoff — in the 2011 state tourney to Galax.

“We always wanted this since our sophomore year really, we had a really  good team, and had a really good chance to do it then,” Toohey said. “This year we just told ourselves at the beginning of the season that we were going to come in, we were going to do it, we were going to win the state championship and that was our goal the whole time.”

Toohey and fellow seniors Ben Ramsey, William McGuire and Jacob Britton, along with Austin Boyce, Travis Simms and Dakota Jones were among the team members who were honored, along with the hard-earned state championship trophy, during a packed assembly at the school auditorium on Wednesday afternoon.

“It is exciting, the school has treated us really well, we have had a good response from the community, the students and staff here at Graham High School,” Graham golf coach Matt Dixon said. “It has been an exciting time for these kids.

“They have been holding their heads high in the hallways for sure and everybody still has a glow on their face. It is just a big honor to win this for Graham High School and for the community.”

In the revamped VHSL conference system, Graham was one of just four teams to qualify for the 2A state tournament, winning the Conference 39 title, and finishing second to Floyd County in the Region 2A-West event.

Graham was tied with Stonewall Jackson after the opening day, but pulled away in the second round to bring home the championship.

“I just use this as a great example of hard work,” said Ramsey, who joined Toohey as an all-state golfer. “We worked so hard the past four years and it is really rewarding to come out and play good.”

Those four seniors first began the path to a state championship while spending their summers at the now-closed Richwood Golf Club.

“We were about 11 or 12, I am not joking, from 9 o’clock in the morning to 9 o’clock at night,” Toohey said. “Jacob Britton’s mom would pick us up at the church at hole 2 and that was our summer and it paid off for us.”

No wonder the G-Men celebrated with gusto after the goal had been reached.

“When they wrote down that first place on the board, we just went wild, we all went crazy, it was the best feeling ever, you can’t beat it,” Toohey said. “Working so hard ever since Richwood and we have all been together and to see that come up, words just can’t describe it.”

While Toohey earned all-state honors in his second stint at the state level, it was Ramsey who was the most consistent G-Men during most of the season, winning individual titles in both the conference and regional events.

“Ben, he is consistent, he felt a little pressure with the whole team on his back,” Dixon said. “Zach, all he does when he goes to the state tournament is play his best, he will play his best in big situations.”

That duo served as leaders for the G-Men, making sure the team stayed focused on the fact that this was a business trip that really began when the postseason tournaments began.

“We were really focused all month. I told them (that) Saturday we are going to get up there and we will kind of fool around a little bit and enjoy our trip,” Toohey said. “Sunday, we need to focus on our practice round, but as soon as we wake up on Monday, there is no fooling around, no nothing. We have got to get busy, we have got to get a good lead.”

They didn’t, finishing the opening round in a tie with Stonewall Jackson.

“We came to the hotel room after our round and talked about what was wrong with our game that day,” Toohey said. “We helped each other, we looked at holes and what we should do and what we shouldn’t do.”

It was that focus which Graham principal John O’Neal spoke about during the assembly on Wednesday, as the G-Men achieved the first state championship in any sport during his 11 years at the helm of the school.

“It was a great three or four day trip and we had a lot of fun,” Ramsey said. “When it was game time we focused and we got the job done and it is just great to know that we had a lot of fun and we had a good score as well...

“Once we got up there we saw what our competition was, it looked like Stonewall Jackson had a good day and we didn’t have the best day the first day, but we were still in the competition.

“We knew coming into the second day we just needed to play good.”

 They did. All Toohey did was make a double-eagle and overcome a disputed two-stroke penalty for throwing a club, while Ramsey finished with a 78 and Britton and Boyce contributed to a four-person score that led the G-Men to victory. Britton scored well both days, Simms had provided a solid fourth score on Monday, while McGuire struggled, but was the steady influence throughout the season. Jones served as an alternate for Graham.

“Jacob had a couple of good weeks actually and he stepped up, the 85 on Tuesday was huge and then we had guys like Travis and Austin who stepped up,” Dixon said. “William didn’t have a great tournament either, but he really helped us throughout the season.”

The next question facing Dixon is what happens next. Four key seniors will depart — with Toohey and Ramsey hoping to play at the next level — but the G-Men lost seniors two years ago, and came back as strong as ever.

That is the plan for 2014.

“We are losing definitely four great players off the team, four good leaders, four kids that have been in the program since they have been eighth graders, four kids that grew up together...,” Dixon said. “We are going to have to find some kids. Richwood closing several years ago is going to hurt because there is not a whole lot of people that can go up to Fincastle and afford to play....

“We are looking for some kids and obviously after you win a state championship, there will be some interest from some kids that may not otherwise be interested in playing. We will find some people as all teams do.

“Like two years ago we had to replace those guys and we did. Hopefully we can do the same.”


How electronic espionage was exposed four decades ago

Thirty-seven years before Edward Snowden's disclosures, Brian Toohey reported in the Australian Financial Review that Australia's electronic spying agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, was secretly reading all communications between Tokyo and the Japanese embassy in Canberra.
Toohey's front page article reported in July 1976 that intercepting Japan's diplomatic cables had given "the Australian side the inside running on Japanese attitudes ranging from key trade issues to general foreign policy briefs".
According to Toohey, the Defence Signals Directorate had been of "great assistance" to the Australian government, but the Japanese had "not been entirely the losers out of their lax approach to the security of the communications".
"For example, intercepted material showed that there was a very genuine concern on the part of the Japanese about the attitude of the former [Labor] Minister for Minerals and Energy, Mr [R.F.X.] Connor – in fact, this helped convince the former Prime Minister [Gough] Whitlam, of the need for changes in the area."
Toohey further reported that the Australian Secret Intelligence Service had also been successful in Japan, including on one occasion being able to "give Mr Whitlam a demonstration of its value by producing copies of the Japanese ministerial briefing papers for [the prime minister's] visit to Tokyo."
Although Toohey's article attracted much interest in July 1976, prime minister Malcolm Fraser's government refused to comment and it has remained unconfirmed ever since.