Women golfers celebrate fifth win in six years

The Southland women's golf team were planning a few quiet drinks and a nice meal to celebrate their fifth win in six years at the New Zealand masters championships in Rotorua.

Team captain Robyn Boniface, who also won the Canterbury Trophy as the leading individual player, said the team were looking forward to toasting their success last night.

"We are pretty stuffed actually," Boniface said.

"We are absolutely delighted and relieved. Winning from go to whoa is pretty good, but it also puts extra pressure on you because everyone is on your tail."

Southland claimed the NZLGU Russell Grace Cup at the Springfield Golf Club with a winning margin of 14, finishing with 355 gross stableford points, ahead of Auckland, with 341 and home favourite Bay of Plenty on 339.

Boniface was the leading individual for the sixth time, a feat no other player has completed in 23 years of the tournament's history.

Only Marnie Brooking (a former Bay of Plenty representative) has won it more than twice - in, 1993, 1994, and 1999.

All of the Southland team members contributed to the overall total, where the top three scores out of four are taken each round.

The tournament is staged overthree days, 72 holes on gross stableford points.

Boniface led the Southland charge with rounds of 34, 35, 36 and 35 followed by Robyn Pullar with 28, 32, 26 and 30 despite suffering from the flu at the weekend.

Both Pullar and Boniface were playing in their seventh masters tournament for Southland.

Kerry Mariu has played once for Canterbury and now four years for Southland and had rounds of 23 (n/c), 25, 23 (n/c) and 25.

The fourth team member, Fiona Murray, a Masters veteran of five years contributed with rounds of 26, 24 (n/c), 23 and 24 (n/c).

With five wins etched on the cup, Southland now match Canterbury who won in 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998 and 2000, and Bay of Plenty, winners in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

"It's huge, we are a fairly close knit foursome and we make every effort to do it for one another," Boniface said.

"It's a tough challenge, a tough course, so we just stuck to the game plan and let the others fall away."

The Southland Times