The Woodward Cup Interclub competition tees off this Sunday with the opening round being played at Templeton Golf Club starting at 11.30am. The format will remain the same as 2015 which saw the successful introduction of eight man teams and eleven teams competing.
Defending champions Russley will be looking to make it five in a row but will face tough competition from the other teams in the competition. The Russley team will have two new players on debut for Woodward Cup Hiroki Miya who is stepping up from Blank Cup and Joe Falkner who has recently returned from overseas. The team will be well supported with an experienced line up which includes Garth Treacy (93 games) and Andrew Dufton (91 games) who will be likely to achieve the major milestone of 100 games at Woodward Cup this season. Russley will be up against Avondale in the opening round who have strengthened their side with their import players Richard Reed and Jeremy Goodman who will be likely to lead the team in the top two positions.
Harewood who were runners up in 2015 will be looking to go one better this year with a similar line up that includes imported players Andrew Green and Josh Smith along with the experience of Canterbury representative players Blair Dibley, Matt McLean and Scott Manyweathers. Harewood have a tough draw for round one which sees them up against 2015 semi finalist Christchurch. The Christchurch team will be a tough team to beat with considerable strength throughout the team, they will be led by Tom Parker, Jordan Bakermans, JJ Love and Mike Toeke. The club has imported Marcus Mariu who has recently returned to golf and will be likely to play his 100th game this Sunday if he is named in the line up.
Bottle Lake look to have a similar line up again this year with Cameron Grant as their import player. It looks like it will be a well fought match in round one where the team face Coringa who they just finished behind on the points table in 2015. Coringa are likely to be led by the experienced duo of Nic Kay and Nick Franzmann.
Clearwater will have a few new faces in the team with Matt Adam imported to the team, he will bring a wealth of experience with 113 Woodward Cup appearances along with junior golfer Austin Hamilton who has gained a scholarship with the club who debuted in the competition in 2015 for Waitikiri. Clearwater will also again have Matt Morris in the team who is their second import player who currently resides in Waikato after returning from a short stint on a golf scholarship in America. Noel Chambers is also likely to feature and will be likely to achieve the 100 game milestone at round 2, currently on 98 games. Clearwater will be up against Waitikiri in the first round, the Waitikiri team have an experienced side likely to be led by Garth Simpson and Aaron Forsyth, they have also imported Daniel Perham and Mathew Burns to strengthen their line up.
Weedons will be looking to get back into a top four position. The team will be likely led by Jake Hallinan and Jesse Rich, they have also imported Edward Cochrane who played in 2015 for the team and Daniel Hobbs who will debut in the competition this year. Weedons are up against Waimairi Beach in round one who has imported 14 year old Kazuma Kobori into their team who will be another to debut in the competition, they will also have Jordan Reid in the team who is new to playing at the club along with the experience of Fred Poskitt who has played 135 games at Woodward Cup dating back to 1972.
The host team Templeton will have their bye first up and will be looking forward to their opening match in round two against Clearwater. The Templeton team will have a similar line up with Tim Leonard and Daniel Laughton likely to lead the team along with Sam Purdon and James Robb. The team will be looking to carry the form they had in 2015 holding the top position on the table through this years competition.
The competition looks like it will again a closely contested event with a worthy winner named in October at finals day. We wish all the teams the best and look forward to the competition starting this Sunday.