It's club finals time
- 15 October 2023
- Peter Watson
The stage is set for our NBS club finals on Saturday (Oct 21) after a series of absorbing semi-finals over the last week.
The senior showdown will be between James Campion who dispatched Keri Kotua 5/3 and Dean Goodman who upset top qualifier Peter Green 2/1 yesterday (Oct 14).
James - the second seed - started poorly by losing the opening hole with a double bogey but then won the next with a par to get quickly back in the contest. After a half he made what proved to be the decisive break by winning four holes succession with three regulation pars and a bogey as an outgunned Keri struggled on the greens. Keri cut the margin to just three at the turn by winning No 9 with a par but a birdie two at No 11 restored James's cushion and after three halves he ended it on No 15.
As he did in his quarterfinal, Dean overcame some blowout holes to show great determination and composure for a late come-from-behind win. After squaring their first two holes, Peter made the first move by winning No 3 and 4 with a bogey and a par, but Dean replied immediately by taking No 5 with a par and then producing a fine birdie at the lengthy No 6 to get back on even terms. They started the back nine all square but Peter parred both No 10 and 11 to go two ahead. Dean bizarrely won the par five No 12 with a double bogey but Peter responded by taking the next with a par. However, Dean - who putted well all day - dug deep to win three holes on the trot with two pars and a bogey to edge ahead. And he completed an impressive comeback with another par at No 17 to ice the win.
Bryce Vincent booked his spot in the intermediate final against Neil McLaren by comfortably accounting for Jonathan Tuheke 3/2. After a cagey start, Bryce proved too steady for an inconsistent Jono. All square after six after both had won two holes each, Bryce took control by winning three holes on the bounce with two bogeys and par to be three up at the half way mark. A par at No 10 saw him go further ahead and while Jono got one back at No 13 with a good par up the hill, Bryce closed it out with three consecutive halves. Neil got through to the final in a walkover after top seed Jason Lee had to withdraw after injuring a shoulder.
The Junior A final will be between Ian Hanford and Brendan Doyle who took very different paths to get there. Ian had to halved the last hole to eke out a gritty 1-up victory over a Graham Galt. Graham started brilliantly by birdieing the par-five opening and parring the second to go two in front. With both playing well, the next two holes were halved before Ian claimed No 5 with a par and No 6 with a bogey to wipe out the deficit. However, Graham won No 8 and 9 with bogeys to restore his two-hole advantage. A birdie two by Ian at No 11 reduced the margin and after both made a mess of No 12, he won No 13 and No 14 with a bogey and a par to inch ahead. Graham levelled it up again with a bogey at No 16 only for Ian to par No 17 to reclaim the lead that he refused to surrender despite both double bogeying the difficult last hole.
Brendan didn't start well against Lewis Wilson and quickly found himself two down after three after starting on No 4, but then things clicked and it was all go from thereon in. Driving powerfully and hitting greens in regulation, Brendan won the next seven holes with an impressive five pars and two bogeys to blitz his rival. Lewis delayed the inevitable by winning No 14 with a par, but Brendan slammed the door shut by taking No 15 with a par and No 16 with a bogey for an emphatic victory.
The top two seeds, Michael Savage and Warren Carey will do battle for the Junior B title after contrasting semifinals played on a warm Friday.
Mike was five up at the turn against a game Jim McMullan after shooting 43 off the stick. He went further ahead at the 10th but Jim then won three on the trot to give himself a glimmer of hope before Mike made certain of it by winning No 14 and 15 to end it early with a 5/3 win. Both men played under their handicap.
Warren - who won the division last year – struggled to make any headway against an in-form Chris Louth who had surged to a three-up lead at the halfway mark, but Wazza clawed his way back into the contest by winning No 10 and No 13 before Chris got it back to 2 up with a bogey on No 15. Wazza won an ugly No 16 but a half at No 17 left him needing to win the last hole to extend the match. Chris muffed a short putt to give Wazza a lifeline and he sealed the deal on the 19th with a long par putt from the front of the green.
The senior, intermediate and junior A finals will be played over 36 holes starting at 8.30am, while the junior B final will be played over 18 holes beginning at 10am.