More of the same and victory looks possible
Manawatu-Wanganui proved with their three straight wins that they can win the national interprovincial tomorrow if everything goes well.
On Wednesday at the Otago Golf Club, they beat Auckland 4-1 and Hawke's Bay 3 -1 and yesterday capped it off with a 3-2 win over previously unbeaten Southland.
Only one round was played yesterday and the losses suffered by Wellington and Waikato also helped Manawatu-Wanganui.
They need to beat either Waikato or Taranaki today to enter the playoffs. Manawatu-Wanganui were sitting second in division one behind Southland, but only on a count of individual matches.
Southland, who last year won the title for the first time in 60 years, were without New Zealand No 1 amateur Vaughan McCall.
But conversely, Manawatu-Wanganui were without their New Zealand and Australian boys' champion, Tyler Hodge, who was playing at the Australian Open.
Manawatu's Trent Munn at No 3 continued his unbeaten rampage through the interprovincial, leading all the way to beat Liam Balneaves 4 and 2 after Munn had been just 1-up at the turn. Team manager David Taylor estimated Munn had been 7-under for the week so far and was playing with plenty of confidence.
His brother Josh, at No 1, ground out a tough 1-up win over Tyler McLean, Munn's first win of the week after one loss and two halves.
It was tough going in the windy conditions. Munn wriggled back from 1-down to all square against McLean before he made a crucial birdie on the 17th which proved to be enough.
The Balmacewan course isn't long and the greens are only of average speed and a little bumpy. They suited No 4 Junior Tatana yesterday in his 3 and 1 win.
No 5 Hayden Ring couldn't perform his escape act this time, although he did come back from 3-down to all square at the turn but couldn't hold on and lost 2 and 1 to Matt Tautari.
At No 2, Wellington strokeplay champion Lachie McDonald was 1-up after five but then fell to four down at the turn and never recovered to lose 5 and 4.
Round five results from yesterday. -
Manawatu-Wanganui 3 Southland 2 (Joh Munn bt Tyler McLean 1-up, Lachie McDonald lost to Scott Hellier 5 & 4, Trent Munn bt Liam Balneaves 4 & 2, Junior Tatana bt Jeremy Hall 3 & 1, Hayden Ring lost to Matt Tautari 2 & 1.
Other results: Auckland 3 Wellington 2, Tasman 4 Poverty Bay-East Coast , BOP 3 Otago 1 , Hawke's Bay 3 Taranaki 2, Aorangi 3 Waikato 2, Northland 3 Canterbury 1 .
Points div 1: Southland 3 (14.5), Manawatu-Wanganui 3 (12.5), Auckland 3 (11.0), Wellington 3 (11.0), Waikato 2 (11.5), Aorangi 1 (9.0), Taranaki 1 (8.0), Hawke's Bay 1 (7.5).
Points div 2: BOP 4 (15.0), Otago 3 (12.5), Tasman 2.5 (14.0), Northland 2.0 (9), Canterbury 1.5 (9.5), North Harbour 1 (8.0), Poverty Bay-EC 1 (7.0).