Region's golfing women achieve best result since 2007
The length of the St Clair course above the sea in Dunedin helped the Manawatu-Wanganui women's team to their best national interprovincial result since 2007.
They reached the fifth-sixth playoff where they were beaten 3 -1 by Canterbury on Saturday.
That was their best result since 2007 at Napier when they were third after reaching the semifinal.
Manawatu's Stephanie Hyatt, the team's most experienced player, said they enjoyed the many par-5 holes at St Clair.
"They suited our girls because we played a lot of shorter hitters and they didn't suit them," she said.
It was fine by Hyatt who has previously slogged away at No 1 but this time was happy at No 4 where she won six of her seven matches.
"I noticed the difference between playing at No 1. Pars would win holes rather than birdies.
"Even scoring-wise I scored better than other years."
She calculated she was 12 under par over the seven rounds.
"Finishing sixth was pretty cool."
"Hopefully next year we can have a bit more self-belief and know we can beat these big guys now."
Her only loss was in her opening-round match, to Wellington's former Tasman player Lucy Davis.
Hyatt said the course had lots of elevations which made up to two clubs difference with approach shots.
Aside from the winners, Auckland, Manawatu-Wanganui won the most individual matches in section play, winning 21 and losing only nine.
Hyatt will now take a break and probably caddie for husband Alan in the LawnMaster Classic in February before playing the New Zealand amateur at Manawatu in April.
Palmerston North's Kelly Nicholas at No 5 had an excellent week, unbeaten with six wins and a half, always being the first to finish with a win. Against Bay of Plenty, she came back from 5-down with six to play to win on the last.
Manawatu youngster Emma Clayton excelled at No 1, winning three, halving one and losing three. Her best was her win over New Zealand player Zoe Brake in the team's 4-1 defeat of Bay of Plenty, Clayton slotting a 2-metre putt on the last to do it.
Castlecliff's Amber-Rose Thompson-Newth, 17, handled the pressure at No 2 in her first interprovincial to get two wins, a half and four losses.
Levin's Brydie Hodge had five wins and two losses at No 3.
They had prepared for foul weather but aside from cold mornings and evenings, experienced little breeze.
RESULTS Manawatu-Wanganui's record: Lost to Wellington 3-2, bt Southland 4 - , lost to North Harbour 3-2, bt BOP 4-1, bt Tasman 4 - , bt Northland 4-1. 5th place playoff: Canterbury 3 Manawatu-Wanganui 1 : Sylvie Williams bt Emma Clayton 1up, Elisha Crosbie bt Amber-Rose Thompson–Newth 2/1, Jess Guenzerodt bt Brydie Hodge 3/2, Kate Turner lost to Stephanie Hyatt 4/3, Fiona Gebbie halved with Kelly Nicholas. Final: Auckland 3 Wellington 2: Wenyung Keh lost to Julianne Alvarez 4/3, Munchin Keh halved with Te Rongopai Clay, Joanna Kim bt Barbara Pereno 5/4, Brittney Dryland bt Lucy Davis 1up, Larissa Eruera halved with Alanah Bradybrook. Semifinals: Auckland 3 Bay of Plenty*2, Wellington 3 Waikato 2 Final standings: 1 Auckland, 2 Wellington, 3 Bay of Plenty, 4 Waikato, 5 Canterbury, 6 Manawatu-Wanganui, 7 Taranaki, 8 North Harbour, 9 Southland, 10 Otago, 11 Hawke's Bay, 12 Northland, 13 Aorangi, 14 Tasman.