The 2018 Woodard Cup competition kicks off this Sunday and over the next three months ten of the most evenly contested teams in recent memory will stake their claim for the silverware. A slight tweak in format sees the competition reverting back to one-rounders, all starting at 11.30am, however the quality of golf seems to have escalated yet again.
Coringa sets the stage for the opener and the home team have stalwarts Nic Kay and John Rademakers providing their services once again with Liam Beirne from Greymouth acting as their import. They will face last year’s semi-finalists Harewood who have New Zealand rep Matt McLean leading the troops along with Scott Manyweathers and Blair Dibley adding to a deep and impressive looking line-up.
Current Champions Russley having won the competition seven out of the last nine years will lose Dominic Brettkelly to Universuty in the states but regain the services of both Henry Bryden and Michael McAuley. Coupled with Hiroki Miya and Reid Hilton they are a strong candidate for early favourites. They will have a stern test against a sophomore Pegasus side who look very strong with Kazuma Kobori, Andrew Green and Peter Brinsdon all in fine form and looking to improve on last year’s mid-season finish.
Last year’s semi-finalists Templeton will bolster another strong side with Sam Purdon and Tom Wilson leading from the front along with former Otago rep Ryan Bellamy coming in for Phil Bungard. Avondale will put out a similar side to last year, however this time they will have Nathan Andrews from Pegasus as their import.
Waitikiri will have a mixture of experience in Aaron Forsyth (193 games) and Brett Turner coupled with youthful imports William Bastings and Austin Hamilton both from the previously relegated Clearwater. They will have their hands full against last year’s beaten finalists Christchurch who are looking formidable once again with Richard Reed and Mike Toeke along with the return of Marcel Boet back briefly from University in the USA and Nick Franzmann making the move from Coringa.
Bottle Lake who narrowly finished outside the top four last year will be itching to get their season underway. Led by Jordan Pruden and Jason Campbell, they appear capable of improving on last year’s finish. They will face Weedons who have been promoted back in the top flight after a years absence. They have imports Anton Fouchee from Hororata and Daniel Hobbs from Tai Tapu to strengthen their line-up, along with Canterbury Master’s rep Jonathan Stieller.
One of the long standing records held by Murray Brown for the most games played (233 games) could be broken this season with Craig Prebble (230 games) and Jason Sincock (229 games) which will certainly be a remarkable achievement if either can achieve this feat.
This year’s Woodward Cup will again provide Canterbury’s up and coming and experienced golfing talent the opportunity to test their skills against the best in the region. The coveted Stan Rich Salver for the best individual performance over the nine round competition will again be hotly contested before the Canterbury Interclub Finals Day for Woodward, Blank, Simon and Pollock Cup wraps up the premier interclub season at Russley Golf Club on 30 September.
Click here to view the draw.