Club champs quarterfinals 22/10/22
- 23 October 2022
- Peter Watson
With the shadow boxing over, the golf got serious on Saturday as the NBS club champs play-offs started.
It was the first time since the flood that the whole course was played, although No 8 was reduced to a par three and No 9 and 18 used the same No 18 green.
In the Junior B quarterfinals played in calm conditions on a firming course, Barry Rhodes proved too good for newbie Garth Jameson, winning 3/2 after being two up at the turn. While Garth fought hard on the back nine, Barry closed it out on the 17th. He will play the winner of the match between No 1 seed Warwick King and Jim McMullan.
Earlier in the week Grant Fergusson defeated Chris Louth 3/1 to set up a semi against either Mick Leggett or Greg Mann.
Junior A No 3 seed Neil McLaren and Ian Hanford were all square after nine and were still locked together going down their last, the long No 4, before Neil prevailed with a bogey. He will play top seed Phil Sellers - who had the bye - in one semi.
Bryan Ramsey will take on No 2 Mike Murphy in the other match after Bryan won a nail biter of quarterfinal 1 up against Warren Carey earlier in the week. Wazza's cause wasn't helped by losing balls in the rough at crucial times. Mike was another to have the bye on Saturday.
Two very familiar faces will do battle in one intermediate grade semi after Paul Tunnicliff saw off Dave Blake 4/2 to book a date with top qualifier Richard Pearson, who had the bye. Paul won the opening two holes and was never behind, leading three up at the halfway mark. They traded holes before Paul secured his spot by winning No 16 with a bogey.
Geoff Halkett won his first five holes against Jonathan Tuheke in shooting a blistering 39 off the stick for the front nine. He went six up at the 10th before Jono briefly pegged him back before succumbing on the 16th as Geoff eased to a 3/2 win. He will next play Aaron Kotua, who got a free pass through to the semis after Steve Russell was unavailable for the next round.
Andy Isle and Peter Watson have played each other many times of the years, with Andy - who had been in good touch - well ahead on points. However, every dog has his day and Peter - who shot 77 off the stick - upset the form book to reach the final of the senior division with a comfortable 4/3 victory which was built on a sharp short game. After they swapped holes, Peter went in front at No 5 with a good up and down. A birdie at No 7 doubled his lead before Andy got one back at No 9 with a par. But the leftie wasn't too be denied, winning No 10 with a par, No 12 with a birdie and No 14 with a par save before ending it on No 15 with yet another up and down for a par.
The other semi between top seed Pete Green and Keri Kotua was a cracker. Both played some quality golf, with Pete signing for a 76 and Keri a 77. It ebbed and flowed and in the end it came down to a couple of putts at the death. Pete looked to be in command at two up after nine, having shot a very tidy two-over 37 But Keri - who drove well all day and sunk some long putts - roared back to edge ahead on the 14th on the back of winning four of five holes with pars. A costly out of bounds drive by Keri on No 15 allowed Pete to tie it up before No 16 was shared with pars. Then Keri birdied the par-three No 17 to be in the driver's seat going down the last, but Pete put his second on the edge of the green, while Keri just avoided going in the river. An okay chip left him a 9 foot putt for the win which just burned the edge, while Pete sunk a nervy five footer to take the match to the 19th. Both reached the edge of the green in three, but Keri missed a five footer for par to see Pete scrape into the final.
The remaining semi-finals will be played before the finals on November 12, with the senior, intermediate and junior A matches played over 36 holes and the junior Bs over 18 holes.
In the match of the day for those not involved in the club champs, Aaron Kotua took home first prize after recording a super 41 stableford points. Greg Mann was second with 38 points.
The Kotua brothers and Geoff Halkett shared the twos money between them.