The 2022 Women’s NZ Interprovincial tournament took place last week with the event coinciding with the Men’s Interprovincial for the first time. The two venues used throughout the week were Omanu Golf Club in Mount Manganui and Tauranga Golf Club, both courses in decent condition with the ladies playing equal rounds at both locations.
The women’s team consisted of many experienced players with Catherine Bell (C), Rachel Eder, and Olive Tapu all playing again from the year previous in the heart of the order playing at numbers, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. New members of the team were young Alisia Ren playing at number 1 and Nicola Webb playing at number 5 in their first NZ Interprovincial events.
The team got off to a positive start when they faced up against their neighbours Aorangi Golf in round 2 following their morning BYE. The team came away with a convincing 4-1 victory with both Ren and Webb recording debut victories 7/5 and 6/5 respectively. The following morning, they were able to repeat their performance as they overcame Hawkes Bay Poverty Bay 3.5-1.5. Notable performances in that match included Catherine Bell’s big 8/6 victory and Rachel Eder’s 5/4 win to get herself underway for the tournament. Next up the ladies faced one of the tournament favourites in Auckland Golf who were impressive in their opening rounds with two 5-0 performances. In a battling display, our ladies were able to inflict the first defeats of the event for the Aucklanders but fell just short losing the match 2-3. Bell was able to maintain her perfect start to the event winning 2Up with Olive Tapu also claiming a 1Up victory.
Onto the Thursday we went in the knowledge that a big day of results was required for any hope of progressing. Standing in their way however was the other tournament favourites in North Harbour Golf. Unfortunately, they again proved too strong with the team going down 1.5-3.5. Eder was the sole victor for Canterbury in this match winning 2Up while Olive Tapu did herself proud fighting back from being 5 down at the turn to secure a half. The next match on the Thursday was against Northland Golf which was again a very tight affair but where we ultimately came up just short losing out 2-3. Wins to Eder and Webb in that one with Tapu falling 1D in what was the telling result of that tie.
With Thursday’s results the ladies semi-finals hopes were over with just our last match vs Manawatu Wanganui left to play. The conditions on the Friday however were terrible with rain pelting down causing play to be halted on two occasions. In difficult conditions, the team again fought hard but were on the wrong side of several close matches eventually losing .5-4.5 with Olive Tapu securing the half. The result secured semi-final action for Manawatu Wanganui.
So, an eventual 9th place finish for the team in what in reflection was a tough draw to navigate. Having played 3 of the 4 semi-finalists including eventual champions Auckland the team always had a tough task ahead of them but were able to put out some performances that weren’t always rewarded with team wins but were a credit to them. Catherine Bell, Rachel Eder and Nicky Webb all recorded 3 wins for the week with Olive Tapu just one defeat to go with her 2 wins and 3 halves.
Auckland went on to win the tournament overcoming North Harbour in the final 3-2. The full tournament results can be viewed – HERE.