Rep match ends in tie
The annual representative golf fixture between Marlborough and Wellington ended in an unlikely tie at the Shandon Golf Club in Wellington during the weekend.
Despite having not won the fixture for 14 years, Marlborough headed north with high hopes of breaking that drought. That confidence was boosted when they got off to a strong start by winning the foursomes 3.5-1.5 on Saturday morning.
Foursomes is played as alternate shots and the Marlborough pairs gelled well. Blair Bavin (Rarangi) and Michael Daines (Blenheim) were 4 and 2 winners, while Marlborough club duo Steve McCaa and Simon Bishell had a comfortable 4 and 3 win and the Kaikoura/Rarangi pair of Aaron Reid and Brooke Hale got up 3 and 2. Teenagers Chas Craig and Andrew Forgesson earned a half in their match.
The reverse singles followed in the afternoon and through the first nine holes Marlborough were up in six of the 10 matches. Wellington were not to be outdone, however, and fought back to narrowly take honours 5.5-4.5 and reduce Marlborough's overall lead to one.
Young No 1 Chas Craig was the outstanding Marlborough performer in the reverse singles, shooting a two-under round to beat Wellington No 2 Daniel Hillier 4 and 3. Daines, Bishell and McCaa also prevailed in their matches, while Reid halved with James Jennings.
Marlborough led 8-7 going into the straight singles on Sunday morning and extended that advantage by one when No 10 Forgesson fought back from two-down with six to play to beat Ryan Western 2 and 1. Convincing wins to Levi McCall and Reid followed, but the home side claimed the next four games to lock the scores at 11-all.
With three games still to finish, Marlborough needed two wins to secure victory. However, Craig succumbed to a birdie on the 17th hole to go down 2 and 1 to Carl Tupangaia and, after being one-up with two to play, Bishell had to rally to earn a crucial half in his match with Sam Forrester.
That left McCaa needing to win his match with Jennings to tie the fixture and the Marlborough No 3 went one up after a birdie on the 16th. But Jennings responded with a birdie of his own at 17, leaving them all square going up the last hole. McCaa hit his approach on the green and made a safe par and, when Jennings missed the green and failed to get up and down, the sides were tied 12.5-all to share the silverware.
Reid, McCaa and Bishell were the three Marlborough players to go unbeaten.
Marlborough's next match is the annual quadrangular against two Nelson teams and West Coast at the Greenacres club in Nelson on September 7 and 8. A team of six seniors, four masters and four juniors contest that fixture.
Results (Marlborough names second)
Foursomes: Ryan Western/Brad Roland bt Duncan Hille/Levi McCall 4/3, Brady Bernard/Sam Forrester lt Blair Bavin/Michael Daines 4/2, Kerry Mountcastle/Mike Trass halved with Chas Craig/Andrew Forgesson, Cruize Wawatai/James Jennings lt Steve McCaa/Simon Bishell 4/3, Daniel Hillier/Carl Tupangaia lt Brooke Hale/Aaron Reid 3/2. Points: Wellington 1.5, Marlborough 3.5.
Reverse singles: Western lt Daines 4/2, Roland bt Forgesson 2/1, Bernard lt Bishell 4/3, Forrester bt McCall 6/5, Mountcastle bt Hille 3/2, Trass bt Bavin 5/3, Wawatai lt McCaa 2/1, Jennings halved with Reid, Hillier lt Craig 4/3, Tupangaia bt Hale 4/3. Points: Wellington 5.5, Marlborough 4.5.
Straight singles: Western lt Forgesson 2/1, Roland bt Daines 5/3, Bernard lt McCall 4/3, Forrester halved with Bishell, Mountcastle bt Bavin 5/4, Trass bt Hille 3/2, Wawatai lt Reid 7/6, Jennings lt McCaa 1 down, Hillier bt Hale 7/5, Tupangaia bt Craig 2/1. Points: Wellington 5.5, Marlborough 4.5.
Overall: Wellington 12.5 tied with Marlborough 12.5.