The Flexi Lease Canterbury Women's Team have had a superb week competing at the highest level at the NZ Toro Interprovincials played at Sherwood Park Golf Club. The Canterbury Team quietly went about their business throughout the week accumulating five team points and winning 23 games from a possible 30 during round robin play to finish top of their division.
The team were positive about their chances against North Harbour in the semi final. Olive Tapu and Juliana Hung had solid wins with Catherine Bell halving her match with Vaha Fapiano to go into a sudden death playoff. Off the tee Bell finished in the fairway bunker but managed to advance her ball to the side of the green. With both players off the green Bell chipped first to a foot range leaving Fapiano with work to do to secure her par. The par putt just missed giving Canterbury the win to head into the final to play against defending champions Auckland.
The Canterbury Women had a quick turnaround before teeing it up in the match against Auckland. Early in the matches it was very tight with neither team going clear. Auckland’s Siyi Keh delivered the first blow with a dominant performance finishing three under the card against Maddie May. With the late withdrawal of Hillary O’Connor, May was elevated to the playing five proving she has a bright future with three wins on debut. Jessica Crosbie, also on debut, had a solid tournament and will relish from the experience. Auckland’s Caryn Khoo beat Jessica Crosbie 5/4 in the final.
Catherine Bell captained the winning team in 2015 and knew what was needed for this young developing team. She led by example with five wins and a half for the tournament. The final against Brittney Dryland was a closely fought battle with Bell fighting back from 2 down early in the match to be all square through 13 holes before Dryland went par, birdie to take a 2 up lead and finish 3/2.
Olive Tapu showed her strength on debut playing at number 2 in the team with six wins. Tapu fought hard in her match against Auckland’s Caryn Khoo to come back from three down through 15 holes to stay in the match before Khoo won 2/1.
Hung relished the opportunity to step into the number one position with Amelia Garvey unavailable for selection, recording seven wins from the eight matches including wins in the semi final against NZ Amateur Champion Silvia Brunotti and NZ Amateur Runner up Rose Zheng in the final 4/3.
Every member of the team played an important role during the week achieving valuable games that contributed to the overall success of the team’s performance. It was also great to be able to provide the playing reserve Amy Weng with an opportunity to play during the round robin where she won her match against Otago’s Sumin Kang.
Congratulations to the Canterbury Women’s Team finishing runners up at the NZ Toro Interprovincials, an amazing achievement.
Special thanks go to the Managers of the team Kate Turner and Elisha Crosbie who have provided valuable support and experience to the team having both played at this level in recent years.