Wide-open race for stroke play champs

JERRIE VALLI
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2014

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The Southland men's stroke play championship title is wide open this year, with the tournament teeing off on Saturday at SBS Bank Invercargill Golf Club.

The Otatara links course is said to be in good shape ahead of the championships, with more than 50 of the south's top golfers expected to line up across two competitions.

The tournament includes the Southland Strokeplay Championships, which will be played over 72 holes on Saturday and Sunday, as well as the Men's Masters 36 Hole competition, played over two afternoon rounds.

Southland representatives including defending champion Tyler McLean, Jeremy Hall, Karl Mariu and Kyle and Brett Dobbie could all be frontrunners for the open title, but will face a tough contest against top Otago golfers. Brandon Hodgson (Otago) and Mark Brooks (Queenstown) are two of more than 10 Otago golfers making the trip to Invercargill for the tournament and both come off a good showing at the Otago Strokeplay Championship, where Hodgson finished third.

Tournament organiser Scott Riordan said the title could be anyone's and entries were still open.

"There's no one real favourite which makes it exciting and, as we know, anything can happen on the day," he said.

"It's great to see a number of Otago players coming down and adding to the competition. The greens are looking very good, the groundsmen have been busy over the past couple of weeks and they've got the course in good shape for the weekend's championships."

Riordan said the tournament was open to any golfer with a handicap and encouraged plenty to sign up, with prizes not only going to the best gross scorers, but plenty of nett prizes as well, particularly in the men's masters competition.

For entries or more information, please contact Scott at Invercargill Golf Club either by phone or emailing scott@invercargillgolf.co.nz.

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The grounds staff at Otatara will be kept busy after the tournament as well, with the Invercargill club set to host a Waitangi Day tournament on Thursday next week. (February 6).

The tournament is open to any pairing - men, women or mixed - and has a tee off time of noon.

The tournament's format is split into three groups of six holes, with holes one to six a 4BBB stableford format, holes seven to 12 a four ball aggregate stableford and holes 13 to 18 a four ball African stableford.

Enquiries or entries can be made to the Invercargill Golf Club pro shop, either by calling in, phoning or emailing info@invercargillgolf.co.nz.

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The annual ILT Liquorland Charity Tournament will be played on Wednesday, February 19, so get your entries in as soon as possible as this is a very popular day out!

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The tournament will be played at Queens Park Golf Club and entries or enquiries can be directed to either the Queens Park pro shop or to Golf Southland (email golfsouthland@woosh.co.nz).

The charity/ies the tournament will raise funds for will be advised (check the Golf Southland website for details or keep an eye on The Southland Times!).

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Riverton Golf Club's Development Tournament was played on Sunday, attracting 22 teams. The winners were Norman Cleaver and Ken Tecofsky on 50 points, with Tegan Proudfoot and Daniel Mills second on 49 points on countback.

The club would like to thank all of its sponsors for their continued support.

- The Southland Times

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