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Canterbury Match Play - back nine birdie blitz in men's final!

Posted by: on 6 March 2022

In the Men's Championship Final between Canterbury's Reid Hilton and Otago's Tom Lee at Bottle Lake it was birdie mania on the back nine. Lee got off to a hot start birdieing the first four holes and when they turned for the back nine Hilton was three down and wondering how he was going to come back. An eagle on the par 5 10th, then two more successive birdies got him back to square. The pair halved the 13th, Lee birdied the 14th, then Hilton birdied the very difficult par 4 15th, and followed up with another birdie at the par 3 16th to go 1up with two to play. Not to be outdone, Lee holed a 30 foot bomb for birdie on the 17th while Hilton missed his 8 foot birdie putt. They would halve the 18th, and two extra holes later Lee finally finished the match with a birdie on the par 3 first hole! What a great match for the privileged few who were able to witness such stunning golf. In the morning semis Hilton played well and was four under when he bought to an end the steady run of Scott Manyweathers. Lee had to go to the 18th to beat Auckland's Joshua Bai.

Nelson's Lizzie Neale always had the upper hand in her Final against Canterbury's Olive Tapu. She was 3up on the turn and ran out a 4/3 winner. The No. 1 seed showed good form over the two days with strong wins in her first round and in the morning's semi where she beat Aroha Minhinnick 7/6..

The Masters Mens Championship had the stiffest competition in it with 18 players vying for two brackets of eight in qualifiying. The semi-finals saw top qualifier Nelson's Ben Crawford beaten by Aaron Forsyth 4/3. Meanwhile Brett Turner had a battle against Canterbury team-mate Jonathan Stieller before finally getting him on the 18th winning 1up. In the final Turner got out of the blocks early and never looked back. 3up on the turn he ran out a 5/4 winner to again claim the Masters title. Forsyth looked a wee bit out of sorts and Turner on the other hand played well all afternoon. In the Div 2 Men's Masters veteran John Rademakers, choosing to play in the Masters instead of the Seniors, won a close match with James Howard. He always held a slight advantage and won it on the 18th 2up.

The Women's Masters Final between Rachel Eder and Naomi Wallace was close all the way, with each player only ever holding a one hole advantage. Wallace went down 18 1up but a bogey meant it went to a play-off and Eder sunk a 40 foot bomb to win the match on the 19th.

Marty Holman won the Men's Seniors for the fourth year in a row and again etched his name on the trophy he donated. He played his best golf in the final beating Paul Bailey 4/3. Bailey had played some good golf in earlier rounds beating Kerry Chuck and No. 1 qualifier Gary Gillard, but was no match for Holman.

13 year old Cooper Moore went into the U19 Championship Final hot favourite after some sizzling golf in earlier rounds including a 69 in strokeplay qualifying, and being 2 under when beating Ethan Lam 4/3 in the semis. However his opponent in the final Alex Kelliher saved his best until last, and with a fine back nine won 3/2 over Moore. It was Moore who lead 1up on the turn which should have been 2up had he not three-putted the 10th hole. Kelliher then played some great golf which saw him finish under the card while Moore was a couple over. Jonathan Fry beat Yash Naicker 3/1 in the U19 Div 2 Final.

A fantastic couple of days at the Bottle Lake Golf Club with the course in great order and many compliments about the greens - thanks to Andrew Green and his staff. Also thanks to Club Captain Wayne Newsome, the referees, Canterbury Golf staff Mike and Blair, and to our sponsor Hazlett Insurance. 

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