Club champs semi-finals
- 21 September 2019
- Peter Watson
It was squeaky bum time as players battled on Saturday (Sept 21) for a place in their respective finals and a shot at glory.
There were no excuses given the superb spring conditions on a Waahi Taakaro course in top order.
In the senior grade, Dean Goodman took out a tight tussle against top qualifier Rob Willems 2/1 and could thank his putter for getting him home.
Rob jumped out to an early lead only for Dean to win four holes on the bounce, including birdies at No 6 and 7, to be one-up at the turn. Rob clawed it back to all square on the 15th but mucked up the 16th and then lost the 17th to par for Dean to close out the match.
After winning the individual matchplay title earlier in the season, Keri Kotua again showed his matchplay steel in edging Andy Isle in an absorbing semi-final on Friday which wasn’t decided until the 19th hole.
While neither player was at his best, despite perfect conditions, the contest was fill of twists and momentum swings.
Both won two holes each to be all square after four before Andy claimed three of the next five holes with pars to be three up at the turn. However, with Keri hitting it out of bounds on the 10th Andy made a mess of the hole to lose it with an eight which proved to be a turning point in the tie.
Keri pounced, winning three of the next four holes to go one ahead, only for Andy to reclaim the lead after winning both the 15th and 16th. After halving the 17th, Andy then drove it in the trees on the 18th and struggled to get it out, allowing Keri to snatch the hole with a bogey five. After both were within wedge distance after two shots on the 19th, Keri put his third close while Andy fluffed his chip to gift Keri the match.
In the intermediate grade, No 1 seed Paul Tunnicliff proved a touch steadier to edge Jonathan Tuheke 2/1. Paul was three up after seven holes but Jonathan parred No 8 and 9 to reduce his lead to one at the halfway mark. Paul won the 10th and 12th to restore his cushion and while Jonathan claimed the 16th to cut the deficit to two it wasn't enough as a par on the 17th was good enough for the win.
With Steve Russell on compassionate leave in Australia, his tie with Graham Eggers was postponed until next week on a day to be arranged.
The Junior A finalists had already been found, with Mike Murphy upsetting top qualifier Brendan Doyle 4/3 on Monday and Bryan Ramsey outclassing Alan Church on Thursday 6/5. Bryan won three holes in a row on the front side to turn with a handy lead before claiming the 10th, 11th and 13th to slam the door on Alan.
Two good mates will contest the Junior B final. Warren Carey got the better of Brad Crabb 3/2, while Steve Turnell finally saw off a doughty challenge from Jim McMullan 2/1.
In the match of the day, a stableford round off the white tees, Terry Hemi was on fire in amassing 43 points to win by three. Paul McCrae was second with a very tidy 40 points. Andy Isle must have wished he had played his semi-final a day later as he came in with 38 points to finish third on countback from Elton Netto.
Mike Murphy and Bryan Ramsey showed they were in good form for their final with 37 points each, a score matched by Rangi Kohe. Maurice
Woodhouse, Andrew Craig and Warwick King completed the top 10 with 36 points each. Dave Blake and Paul McCrae shared the twos money.