Southland win tournament again

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 12/11/2012

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A brief text from coach John Griffin proved the spur the Southland women's masters golf team needed as they continued their dynasty with victory in a record fourth straight national tournament yesterday.

Playing on home turf at the Invercargill Golf Club over the weekend, the team of captain Robyn Boniface, Robyn Pullar, Kerry Mariu and Fiona Murray had to overcome a strong challenge from the Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay combination, along with the pressure of being the tournament favourite.

Southland took inspiration from Pullar, who was the tournament's leading individual with scoring rounds of 34, 37, 26 and 34 in the gross stableford competition.

"We started off pretty good and into the second round but on Saturday afternoon none of the team really performed to what we expected and we were a bit gutted," Pullar said.

"We got here today and made it happen. We had a text from the coach to tell us a few things, to believe in ourselves, get out there and play, and just get on with it."

Pullar, who had to come from three shots behind Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay's Janie Field in the final round, continues a wonderful tradition at the New Zealand women's masters tournament, following on from Boniface's four consecutive titles as the leading individual.

Despite her form being "a bit up and down" leading into the weekend, Pullar produced some consistent golf for three of her four rounds.

"I'd never thought about [the individual title]," she said.

"I was there to play for the team and that's just a bonus if the side comes through." Being part of a winning Southland team in Southland was a special feeling, she said.

"This is really satisfying, being at home. I'm really pleased to do it at home on my home course."

Southland took an early lead after the first two rounds of the tournament, but a determined Hawke's Bay team had cut a 13-shot lead to just one stroke by the end of a windy third round.

However, the experienced Southland lineup managed to hold their nerve over the final 18 holes to defend their title with an 11-shot win and ensure they will head to Feilding next April for a shot at a fifth straight title.

Meanwhile, the Southland men's masters team finished 11th of 15 teams at the Freyberg Masters at the Maraenui Golf Club.

The tournament was won by Waikato.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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