Both our Boys and Girls Canterbury representative teams competed in their respective interprovincial tournaments last week in what was a great outcome for our leading youth golfers.
The boy's event took place at Cambridge Golf Club with 4 players making their tournament debut in James Walker (Russley), Etienne Collier (Avondale), Jonathan Fry (Russley), and Otis Holland (Harewood.) this was alongside tournament regulars Seb May (Clearwater), Yuki Miya (Pegasus) and Cooper Moore (Clearwater.) The boy’s week started positively with a first-up win on Tuesday morning vs North Harbour prevailing 4.5-1.5. Seb May registered the biggest win by a margin of 7/6. This was followed by an afternoon victory over newcomers and composite team Aorangi/Southland 5-1 with most matches navigated comfortably.
Onto day 2 where the boys had the single round against Hawkes Bay. The team won out 4.5-1.5 with several close matches at the top of the order and some more comfortable results at 4, 5, and 6. A particularly exciting match up in that match was the battle of the ones with Cooper Moore (who won both his day 1 matches) facing Golf NZ Academy member Zach Swanick. The 18-year-old Hawkes Bay player managed to win 2/1 in the end in his biggest contest of the week vs 15-year-old Moore, the pair's combined best-ball score for the contest being 10under!
Day 3 shaped up as a big event with two wins required to secure the top of the group finish and a spot in the 1st / 2nd final day match-up. The morning went to script with a 5-1 victory over Manawatu/Wanganui with most players securing big victories and early finishes, Yuki Miya winning 7/6 to keep his perfect win record alive. With Otago also winning their match it set up effectively an afternoon semi-final match up with the winner moving onto the final. It proved to be an agonizingly close match between the two top sides in the pool, Moore and Miya getting wins at the top 6/5 and 5/3 respectively while Collier was able to secure a half leading out at number 6. Unfortunately, however with all three middle-order matches being square with 2 holes to play, a bit of inexperience lost out with all three of those matches ending in defeats and the team eventually going down 3.5-2.5 against the strong Otago outfit. The result leaving them to play the 3rd / 4th play-off match on the Friday.
Putting that disappointing Thursday afternoon result behind them, the boys came out on the final day to verse a strong Taranaki side, who were potentially the surprise team of the tournament. It proved to be a very tight game with each team managing 3 wins a piece. To decide the winner the margin of victories in the match was used, which saw Canterbury take the 3rd place spot by the narrowest of margins 9-8. A particular mention is required too for the efforts of Yuki Miya who won 6 from 6 for the week at the number 2 spot.
The Girls event took place at Rotorua Golf Club with the team including three players on tournament debut in Sora Kishida (Rangiora), Aroha Minhinnick (Waimairi Beach), and Mikana Suto (Rangiora.) Other players returning to this level included Alisia Ren (Russley), Zaria Bourne (Waimairi Beach), Vanessa Lim (Russley), and Lexi Thomson-Hall (Clearwater.) The team started out very strong with a morning victory 5-1 over Manawatu/Wanganui, Minhinnick and Ren starting strong with 6/5 wins. This was followed up by a strong 5-1 win over a normally strong Auckland side, Kishida winning 1 Up at the top of the order and Bourne winning 4/2 to set the team up well.
On day 2 the girls won out by the narrow margin of 3.5-2.5 over Hawkes Bay/Poverty Bay. Some tight contests in that one saw Lim win 1Up while Ren and Aroha continued their strong start with more comfortable wins. On day 3 the girls knew some positive results here would give them a big chance to top the group and progress to that 1st / 2nd play-off. They started with a tough 3-3 draw with Waikato with the top 3 players getting wins and this was followed by a strong but close victory over perhaps their toughest opponents to date North Harbour, winning 3.5-2.5. Lexi Thomson Hall getting an important 3/1 win at number 6 to go alongside Minhinnick and Mikana Suto’s wins and Bourne's A/S. That result secured a spot in the final day 1st / 2nd play-off vs host Bay of Plenty.
The final was as expected a tough match against many players who were presumably familiar with their region's course. However, the girls put in a great effort with Kishida, Ren, and Minhinnick all winning at the top of the order and Lim securing an important half to see the team win out 3.5-2.5. It was the first time since the 2014 Canterbury Girls team (which featured the likes of Amelia Garvey, Momoka Kobori, and so on) have won the event. Aroha Minhinnick who played in the number 2 position had a particularly great week with 6 wins from 6 to win the player of the tournament prize.