A bizarre position to finish in

VAUGHAN MCCALL
Last updated 05:00 11/12/2013

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The interprovincials last week were held at North Shore Golf Club, which brings a few testy tee shots and a few thinking holes, but otherwise it is a driver off the tee, wedge onto the green and hole the putt kind of course.

Weak rough made good scoring possible and the only defence was the quick greens.

The weather was atrocious with thunderstorms and we had torrential rain during rounds three, four and five, causing many rain delays and squeegees had to be brought out on the greens.

Southland had a tough draw - with the bye in the first round, and we missed out on playing Aorangi.

First up was Taranaki. We beat them and I had some fun holes to beat Brad Hayward.

In round three we played Hawke's Bay, when Jeremy Hall won two of last three holes to get the team a half. I came back from two down to win also.

In round four I played flawless golf in miserable conditions to beat my New Zealand team-mate Luke Toomey 7 and 5, with the team making a half with Waikato.

In round five it all came down to a seven-foot putt of mine against Sam An (Auckland) for the team to scratch a half. My putt slid by and the team's chance of making the semis became difficult.

Round six was another match that came down to the wire.

I birdied the 16th to get back to square in the match.

Mark Jennings (Wellington) birdied 17 to go one up down the last. We halved the last hole in pars, which saw us lose to Wellington and our chances were all gone.

We played the unbeaten Bay of Plenty in the final round for pride.

I was playing Peter Lee from the 2012 amateur finals. I played great golf all the way - I was four under par in very trying conditions. I thought I had sealed the deal before a putt from three feet spat back at me for us to halve our match.

It was bizarre for us to finish so far down the leaderboard when we were also so close to making the semis. A few things didn't go our way when we needed them to.

I was in great form, with five of my six rounds under par in some tough conditions.

Next for me is a month in Australia in January for the Master of the Amateurs, Aussie Amateur and Lake Macquarie.

I would like to thank you all for your support over 2013 - it has been another great year for me.

Qualifying for the US Amateur was a definite highlight.

I am very excited about 2014 and looking forward to doing you/me/us all proud again.

I hope to see you around on the course over the summer holidays.

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- The Southland Times

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