Templeton repeated their historic feat from last year by defending the Woodward Cup in a nail-biting final against a gallant Clearwater that went down to the last putt. The match came down to the battle of the No. 1's Daniel Laughton (Templeton) and Dominic Brettkelly (Clearwater). As the pair played the 17th hole Templeton led 4-3 and needed a half point from the remaining game to retain the title. However at this stage Brettkelly was 1up and then Laughton won the 17th hole. Tied down the 18th both played two good shots to just in front of the green on the par five. Laughton chipped up to a difficult pin 15 feet away, and Brettkelly to 10 feet, both on the same line above the hole. To the delight of the large crowd gathered, and his team mates, Laughton rolled in his putt to seal the win for Templeton. Final score 5-3.
Clearwater looked destined to win in the final stages of the match. The other pivotal games were the 7's and 8's which both went down the 18th hole square. Templeton's Tom Wilson made a miraculous birdie after two duffed shots to get a half against Seb May, and Jordon Latter got a win for Templeton after Clearwater's Will Bastings found trouble off the tee. The win and half here turned the tide for Templeton.
Young superstar Cooper Moore had a great day for Clearwater beating Ryan Bellamy 4/3 in the final, and Russley's Michael McAuley 8/7 in the semi-final. Sam McGill also maintained his unbeaten record with wins against Josh Simpson and Ben Baker. Archie Gothard got a good half in the final against Tim Leonard. For Templeton Nick Franzmann beat Leon Yee, and David Zohrab was the rock also being unbeaten throughout the competition - on the day against Ryan Adams (final), and Brett Turner (semi-final).
In the semi-finals, the Clearwater v Russley match was very close. The pivotal games were at the bottom of the order with both Leon Yee and Seb May winning on the 18th hole to get Clearwater over the line. The 8-0 result to Templeton belied how close the match was, with five of the games going to the last two holes.
In the final Russley beat Waimairi Beach 4.5-3.5. This was a close match with Waimairi Beach actually having the early lead. But by the 9th hole Russley were on the right side of the ledger and continued to fight out a close win. For Russley Takuma Kikukawa, Nick Roberts, Ethan Lam, and Paul Fitzsimmons got the wins, while Andrew Richardson halved with Taylor Reid. For Waimairi Beach No.1 Marcel Boet had a good tussle with Jake Roberts befotre prevailing 2/1, and Jordan Bakermans and Ollie Partridge got the other wins.
The semi-finals were more clear cut. Waimairi Beach beat Templeton 6-2, and Russley beat Coringa 5.5-2.5.
In the final Russley beat Clearwater 6-2. It was a comprehensive victory to Russley with Steven Yang, Simon Murphy, Jonathan Fry, and Peter Jones having big wins for Russley, to go with a win for Ying He on the 18th, and halves to Robbie Blunt and Dan Douglas. Shane Scott had the sole win for Clearwater.
The semi-finals were somewhat closer with Clearwater beating Waitikiri 5-3, and the same margin to Russley over Templeton.
It cannot be overstated how well the Harewood golf course stood up to two days of rain prior. Many other courses were closed or unplayable, and the players were lucky that Harewood was the Finals Day venue. There was the odd puddle here and there, but most importantly minimal puddling around the greens. The course was in excellent condition and a credit to Colin Posa and his green keeping staff.
Thanks must go to Harewood Golf Club for being great hosts, Canterbury Golf volunteer officials, in particular convenors John Thompson, Peter MacDonald, Don Brown, and David Silk. Mike Millward for all the behind the scenes work in the Canterbury Golf office. The Canterbury Golf Referees Association, and to the large crowd of club members and supporters who turned out to cheer on their teams. Judging by the scenes around the 18th green in the Woodward Cup final, and the closeness of the final, premier men's interclub is alive and well in Canterbury.