Last week both the Canterbury Boys team and Canterbury Girls team competed at their respective annual Interprovincial tournaments. The boy’s event was held at Cambridge Golf Club while further east the Girls event was played at Rotorua Golf Club, both in great condition despite the unusually wet and cold October weather that were faced throughout the week.
The Boys team, made up of members of the Canterbury Golf Talent Development programme were well balanced with several players returning to the event they have played in before but also featuring two players making their debut for the team in Phong Nguyen at number 6 playing as one of two u16s, and Tim Graham playing at number 2 as one of four u19 players. The rest of the team was made up by Yuki Miya, Seb May, Sam Harris (all U19s) and Cooper Moore (U16s.) As with last years event the boys started very positively with two first day wins over Manawatu/Wanganui and Taranaki both by the margin of 4-2. The U16s with the notable Round 1 performances with Cooper Moore winning 6/4 and Phong Nguyen 8/7. The following day we came up against our fellow mainlanders Otago which after a very tight match saw the teams share spoils 3-3 in what was a fair outcome.
Moving into day 3 it was all to play for with the second double round day ahead. The boys had a positive start to the day overcoming a resilient Northland side 4-2 with big wins to Seb May 8/7 and Sam Harris 6/5. The afternoon match was against pre-tournament favourites Auckland who featured a couple of NZ Junior representative players, in what effectively became a semi-final match. After a very tight match we went down 3.5-2.5 in what could easily have been a 3-3 outcome with an unfortunate drive from Phong Nguyen which sat 1-foot outside the OB pin, who at the time was leading his match 1Up going down the last hole. A notable performance in that match was from Canterbury number 1 Yuki Miya who halved with NZ rep Joshua Bai with both players making birdie on the last. With day 3 results in, Canterbury finished the round-robin play second in their pool meaning they progressed to the 3rd/4th Play Off on the final day where they faced Wellington. Deservedly for the Boys they triumphed in that match 4-2 to take out the final podium spot. Yuki Miya again took a notable scalp beating NZ Rep Jayden Ford 1Up. Phong Nguyen also recorded another victory to take his record for the week to 5 wins and one draw, a very impressive effort at his debut Boys Interprovincial.
The Girls team was equally balanced with many 5 of the 6 players returning to the event they had played previously. The debutant within the team was Zaria Bourne playing in the number 5 spot. Other members of team included Deanna Matthews, Alisia Ren, Estelle Lin, Vanessa Lim and finally captain Jasmine Clancy who was playing at likely her last Girls Interprovincial event. As with the tournament conditions players 1-3 play off the stick while players 4-6 play of their handicap which requires players to give or receive strokes on occasion. Round one didn’t quite go to plan coming up against a strong and eventual finalist team North Harbour where they went down 6-0. The team bounced back well however to defeat hosts Bay of Plenty 4.5-1.5 in the afternoon. Notable performances included 4/3 win to Alisia Ren and a first tournament win 2/1 for Zaria Bourne. The girls carried that momentum into the next day where they prevailed over Hawkes Bay/Poverty Bay 4-2 with Estelle Lin winning 5/4 and Jasmine Clancy 2Up.
Rolling into the second double round day the ladies required a big effort to finish high up in their pool. The faced Wellington in the morning in the “cross-over” round, the Wellingtonians were too strong however coming out with a 5-1 victory. However, like they did on day 1 the girls bounced back well to come away with an afternoon victory over Manawatu/Wanganui 3.5-2.5. Estelle Lin with the standout win in this one 8/7 which also featured wins to Alisia Ren and Zaria Bourne. The match was decided however when Deanna Matthews, playing in the ever-challenging number one spot managed to fight back a secure a half on the 18th vs the strong player Sera Raj, which was enough to secure team victory.
At the end of round robin play 3 teams in Canterbury’s pool finished with 3 wins and therefore 6 points. The placings therefore were decided on games which canterbury found themselves on the wrong side off eventually finishing 3rd in their pool and progressing to the 5th/6th Play off on the final day, also vs Wellington. That final match finished in a 3-3 tie with Vanessa Lim getting a crucial 1Up victory to secure the draw in that match to leave the team with a 5th= finish.