The Southland men's golf team will be boosted by the experience of New Zealand's top amateur, Vaughan McCall, when it tees off at the national Toro Interprovincial at North Shore Golf Club today.
Southland will be represented this week by a team that features plenty of experience, including McCall, Matt Tautari, Tyler McLean, Kyle Dobbie and Jeremy Hall, with Jason Osborne as reserve.
Manager Karl Mariu said the addition of McCall to the team lineup would boost the team's confidence.
"It's a real advantage having Vaughan back in the team, it gives the team a bit of depth and he has a pretty positive influence on the team," he said.
Southland has put in commanding performances at the national tournament in recent years, winning the title in 2011 and finishing in the top four last year.
This year, Southland's pre-tournament form has been mixed - finishing fifth in the recent South Island interprovincial - but Mariu said it would be buoyed by McCall's experience.
"It probably wasn't the best buildup, but the guys didn't play too badly; it was just that the opposition played pretty well. It was a bit of a wake-up call, playing on a firmer course than they are used to and I think North Shore will be a similar course, the greens will be a bit faster.
"The team isn't over-confident, but they're not worried about their play either; they know they can put in a good result."
Southland have a tough draw, with the bye first up this morning and defending champions Bay of Plenty in the final round of round-robin play.
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