Sir Bob Charles became the first New Zealander to win a major championship when he won the British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 1963. A little known fact is that this is also the year when Templeton Golf Club last won the Woodward Cup. 58 years later Templeton have finally done it again!
The semi-finals in the morning were held in idyllic almost surreal conditions at Christchurch Golf Club. Not a breath of wind and a balmy 18 degrees greeted players on a superb Shirley layout with a new "open" vista welcoming everyone.
Both semis were close and tense affairs. Templeton eventually held off Clearwater 5.5-2.5 but not without some close matches particularly at the top-of-the-order where Mike Toeke just held off Archie Gothard 1up, and No.2 Dan Laughton halving with an in-form Will Bastings. Nick Franzmann, Jordon Latter, Josh Simpson, and Sam McGill all had good wins for Templeton, while Marcel Boet played superb to comprehensively beat Ryan Bellamy, and Michael Bailey outlasted Tom Wilson 2up.
The other semi between Russley and Pegasus was even closer and took a half an hour longer to finish. It eventually came down to a putt in the Michael McAuley v James Cadehead game giving Cadenhead a 1up win and the victory to Pegasus 4.5-3.5. For Russley Reid Hilton had a notable win over Kazuma Kobori, and Dom Brettkelly, Taylor Hosking also won with a half to Andrew Dufton against Nathan Gilbert. This was not enough with wins on the Pegasus side to Zach May, Marcus Mariu, and Peter Brinsdon along with Cadenhead. 7 out of the 8 games went to the 18th hole indicating the match could have tipped either way.
On course conditions had changed in the afternoon with a stiff NE breeze and some light rain. In the final Pegasus got off to a sizzling start and threatened to overrun Templeton. After four holes they were up in five matches and square in two. Zach May was particularly impressive going through the front nine well under par continuing the form from his pratice round earflier in the week where he shot 63 off the back tees. However through 9 holes Templeton were starting to edge back into the match and turn the tide. With Pegasus well in control of the top three games focus turned to the first games on the course that were see-sawing and very tight. Templeton needed to win the 7 & 8 games with Sam McGill and Josh Simpson and they delivered on the 17th hole with 2/1 victories over Peter Brinsdon and Nathan Gilbert. Meanwhile word had come through that Nick Franzmann had beaten Phil Stephens, and Jordon Latter had beaten James Cadenhead both 3/2. Attention turned to Tom Wilson to deliver the half point needed for victory, however he was one down playing the 17th against Marcus Mariu and a play-off looked likely. Wilson won the 17th with a par and then delivered the knockout blow with a superb drive, pitch and six foot downhiller for birdie on the 18th. There were scenes of rapture as the team and supporters swarmed the green in jubilation. The final result was 5-3 to Templeton. Pegasus got good wins from Kazuma Kobori, Zach May, and Shaun Allan at the top-of-the-order but Templeton's all round depth came through in the end.
Templeton got the double when they also won the Blank Cup beating Christchurch 5-3 in the final. In the morning they had beaten Waimairi Beach in the semi-final 6-2 with wins to James Robb, Greg Hey, Ricky Butson, Paul Burke, Terewa Tamihana, and Lance Gahan. In the other semi Christchurch and Russley had a good battle before Christchurch prevailed over the young Russley team 5-3. Christchurch had wins to Grant McEwan, Reinhardt Van Zyl, Ian MacDonald, Grant Mercer, and Gary Gillard. For Russley young stars Yuki Miya and Cooper Moore won, along with veteran Andrew Richardson.
In the final all games were decided by the 17th hole. For Templeton Greg Hey, Willie Hamilton, and Paul Burke had comprehensive victories, ably assisted by Ricky Butson and Pat Werihiko. For Christchurch they looked good early in the run home with wins at 7 & 8 to Grant Mercer and Gary Gillard, but only Lewis Nutley at No.1 could add to the tally with a close 3/1 win over James Robb.
Christchurch beat Russley 5-3 in the final of the Simon Cup. As they have done for many years, Russley have used this compettiion to foster young players who did them credit in the final. Hayden Lam, Ethan Lam, and Ron He had wins but they were beaten by a more experienced Christchurch team on their home course. For Christchurch their first players out set the tone with wins to George Keeble, Kevin Martin, and Andrew Gillespie. The other two points came at No.1 with a big win to Brad Clark over Phong Nguyen, and at No. 3 when Rhys Morris beat Hugo Daly on the 18th.
The morning semis saw Christchurch beat Waitikiri 4.5-3.5 in a close match with four matches going to the 18th, and Russley beat Avondale 6.5-1.5.
Thanks must go to the Canterbury Golf Referees Association for their tireless efforts during the day, to Canterbury Golf Officials John Thompson, Peter MacDonald, John Bretell, and David Silk for running the competitions throughout the season, and to Christchurch Golf Club for hosting the pinnacle of mens interclub golf in Canterbury on one of New Zealand's finest layouts. The crowd and support attendance for the teams was significantly higher than in previous years making for a great atmosphere on a memorable day for golf in Canterbury.