Waikato is for the second year in a row the winner of the men’s Interprovincials tournament.
Waikato beat Otago 4-1 in the final of New Zealand golf’s most prized teams' event to repeat its win of the previous year.
But for the latest tournament, played at the Invercargill Golf Club last month, much of the drama for Waikato happened earlier.
For example in Waikato’s semi-final against Northland the win was secured with the final putt of the match.
Waikato’s number one player Luke Toomey holed a 25-putt for birdie on the last hole to beat Luke Brown. That gave Waikato a 3-2 win over Northland.
A beaming Toomey said afterwards: “I wasn’t overly nervous at the time because I had no choice but to make the putt. For it to go in was a special feeling.”
But even making the semi-finals was a nail-biting exercise for Waikato.
On the final day of pool play, Waikato was beaten by Bay of Plenty in the morning and scrapped past Manawatu-Wanganui 3-2 in the afternoon.
In the match against Manawatu-Wanganui three of the five games were decided on the last hole.
Toomey said the win was clearly a team effort.
“I’m incredibly proud of everyone, what a week,’’ he said.
“I can’t single anyone out, each one of us performed when they needed to. Right through number one to all the management, it’s a great team.”
Waikato number five Chris Charlton, who is new to the team, led Waikato out well all week finishing with a record of six wins from eight matches. He set the platform for this Waikato side which no doubt gave the rest of the team confidence.
Said Charlton: “I’m bloody stoked, wrapped for the boys to get over the line.
“I thought I played well this week and happy to try get the boys off to a good start. We came into this week wanting a win and nothing else, so it’s nice to achieve that.”
While the team was relatively young in age, it carried a lot of experience with four of the five players being part of the win last year and all playing in the same order.
Sam Vincent, who only lost two of his eight matches playing at No 4 for Waikato, was all smiles at the team having won the event in last two years.
“All we were thinking about this year was going back to back so it’s pretty sweet to see our name on the trophy two years in a row,” Vincent said.
The only shining light for Otago in the final was Brent McEwan who finished his representative career on a high. He defeated Denzel Iremia 2 and 1 in his 103rd and final game for the district.
The weather for the tournament was good, although it rained on the final day.
The local course greenkeepers Craig Tinker and Daniel O’Conner worked tirelessly through the week and were assisted by Ben Finn from Paraparaumu in Wellington.
Results of the final and semi-finals were:-
WAIKATO 4 – 1 OTAGO
Luke Toomey def Duncan Croudis 4/3 Nick Coxon def Nick Borren 4/3 Denzel Ieremia lost to Brent McEwan 2/1 Sam Vincent Fraser MacLachlan 1 up Chris Charlton def Chris Snow 4/3
WAIKATO 3 – 2 NORTHLAND
Luke Toomey def Luke Brown 1up Nick Coxon def Kadin Neho 6/5 Denzel Ieremia lost to Alex Neely 4/3 Sam Vincent lost to 2 up Chris Charlton def Sheldon Kearns 6/4
OTAGO 3 – 2 BAY OF PLENTY Duncan Croudis lost to William Howard 4/3 Nick Borren def Landyn Edwards 3/2 Brent McEwan lost to Sam Davis 1 up Fraser MacLachlan def Jordan Golding 1 up Chris Snow def Henry Spring 2/1.