Gutted but unbowed, Lucy Davis vows to be back for her 10th national women's interprovincial tournament next year to make amends after the devastation of Wellington's final defeat in Dunedin on Saturday.
A hole-in-one by Davis' opponent, Auckland No 4 Brittney Dryland, and a crucial eagle putt by Joanna Kim moments later, against Barbara Parreno, snatched the momentum from Wellington at St Clair Golf Club.
With Dryland beating Davis on the 18th, it saw Auckland snatch a 3-2 victory to defend their crown and extend Wellington's title drought to 20 years.
"I should be back next year. After going so close you definitely want to come back and try to win it," Davis said.
"We're pretty gutted, but we're also happy because we had a really good week. We all stuck to what we wanted to do and if someone had said at the start of the week that we'd make the final we'd be really happy with that. It just sucks that we came so close."
Davis and Dryland, both unbeaten for the week, stood on the 13th tee all square in the pivotal No 4 match. Dryland pulled out a four-iron and to everyone's amazement holed her 145m tee shot.
"I had a five-iron and Kaye [Carroll] our manager came over and told me to take one more club, so I did," Dryland said.
"I knew it was a good shot so I picked up my tee and I didn't know it went in but everyone started screaming. It gave us that bit of confidence we needed to keep fighting."
Davis fought back in pursuit of a perfect eight wins from eight for the week, but Dryland won the match 1-up, and with it the player of the tournament award.
Davis said: "It [hole-in-one] was a bit of a surprise. I can't remember that ever happening to me but it was pretty cool."
No 1 Julianne Alvarez banked Wellington's only win of the final, 4 and 3 over Wenyung Keh. Wellington No 2 Te Rongopai Clay and No 5 Alanah Braybrook both halved their matches while Parreno lost 5 and 4 to Kim.
"We were all quite nervous and we got off to quite a bad start. After a couple of holes we relaxed into it and it looked like it was going our way for a bit there. But they sank a couple of crucial putts going into the last few holes and that swung it their way," Davis said.
Wellington made the final with another tense victory, 3-2 over Waikato in the morning semifinals. Alvarez, Davis and Braybrook secured Wellington's wins.
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