NBS club champs semi-finalists found
- 8 October 2023
- Peter Watson
We are down to the last four in each grade to find the NBS club champs for 2023.
The last three quarter-final matches were played on Saturday (Oct 7).
In the seniors, both Keri Kotua and Dean Goodman had to come from behind to win through to the semi-finals.
Keri was three down to Andy Isle playing the 13th when he holed a wedge for a birdie to spark a revival that had looked out of the question. He then won the next three holes with two pars and a bogey to storm ahead. After halving the 17th, he claimed the last with a bogey for a two-up victory.
Dean was two behind to Peter Watson who then double-bogeyed both No 13 and 14 to allow him back in the match as a thunderstorm struck. Peter sunk a long putt to salvage a half at No 15 and then won No 16 with a par. Needing to win the last to stay in the match, Dean watched as Peter's 5-foot putt for par and the win lipped while he sunk his shorter one to take it to the 19th. Again he found the green in regulation, while Peter drove it in the trees and missed his long putt for a par giving Dean two putts for the win which he calmly converted.
In the semis to be played next Saturday (Oct 14), Dean will play top qualifier Peter Green, who had a bye, while Keri will take on second seed James Campion, who secured his spot after Richard Denby withdrew from his match.
The intermediate grade will see top seed Jason Lee do battle with Neil McLaren. Jason got through on a bye, while Neil battled to a 1-up win over Geoff Halkett the previous week. One down after 10 holes, Neil then won three of the next four to take control. Despite losing No 15 and seeing his lead shrink to just one, he halved the last three holes to hold on for victory.
Bryce Vincent booked his spot by seeing off Maurice Woodhouse 3/2. Three down at the turn, Maurice made it interesting by winning No 10 and 11 with pars, only to lose the next two. He took No 14 with a par but Bryce restored his three-up lead at No 15 and then halved No 16 to close it out. Bryce will play second seed Jonathan Tuheke who was another to get through on a bye.
There were a couple of upsets in the Junior A grade where both the top two qualifiers - Mike Williams and Jack Denton - lost. Mike was unseated by Ian Hanford 2/1 in the mid-week match, while Brendan Doyle came back from two down after 9 holes against Jack to snatch the win on the final hole. Brendan got back in the match by claiming three holes in a row from No 10 before Jack squared it up on No 16. A bogey at the difficult No 18 was good enough to see Brendan go through where he will play Lewis Wilson who had earlier edged Dave Blake 1-up.
In a tight affair, Dave led by one at the the halfway mark before Lewis nosed ahead by winning No 10 and No 13. Dave evened it up at the next but made a mess of No 15 to hand back the lead to Lewis. A par at No 16 again saw Dave draw level, but a triple bogey was fatal.
Graham Galt won another cliffhanger against Phil Sellers 1-up to advance. Three up after 8, Phil saw his lead whittled away by Graham over the back nine. Graham finally grabbed the lead with a par on No 17 before he prevailed after halving No 18 with a double bogey. He will take on Ian Hanford in the other semifinal.
There was no such drama in the Junior Bs, where top seed Mike Savage went through after Steve Turnell withdrew because of injury. Mike will play Jim McMullan, who won in a walkover after Roma Elkington wasn't available for their match.
Warren Carey confirmed his status as second qualifier with a 3/2 victory over Brad Crabb. While neither man was at their best, Wazza had built up enough of an early buffer to ease to a comfortable win. Five-up after 10, he could afford a couple of blow-out holes near the end. He will meet Chris Louth, who had the previous week surprisingly hammered Mick Leggett 5/3. Three ahead at the midway mark, Chris never gave Mick a sniff, closing it out by winning No 15.
As is custom, all semi-finals will be played off the blue tees.