Canterbury selector pleased with depth of talent
The Canterbury men's and women's golf teams are well placed to push for national honours later this year, says the convener of selectors, Dennis Maguire.
The men's national teams event is three months away, but Maguire has been watching local talent in the hope he can pick a team to improve on last year's beaten semifinalists position.
Canterbury have not won the men's title since 2000. While it's early days, the top players are already in form.
Three of last year's squad, Owen Burgess, Jordan Bakermans and Tom Turner all had a pair of wins in the annual Town v Country fixture at McLean's Island on Sunday, helping the town side beat their country rivals 16 -7 .
But there are likely to be spaces up for grabs. Last year's No 1 Keelan Kilpatrick is overseas and No 5 Mark O'Malley has been out of form and missed out on Russley's Woodward Cup side.
His ability to get back into form, experience and matchplay strengths all meant O'Malley still had a good chance of working his way back into contention for the November national event, but there were a number of young players pushing for spots, Maguire said.
‘The depth at the moment is really pleasing," he said.
"We've got a number of young guys that could really challenge some of the more experienced guys in the next few trials and at the Woodward Cup."
Most notably of those younger players are Waitikiri's Jason Yoo and Russley pair Michael McAuley and Regan Kilpatrick, Keelan's younger brother.
McAuley and Yoo also had two wins on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Town juniors thumped the Country juniors 12 -3 and the two masters teams had a 6-6 tie.
Despite heavy conditions, scoring was low and Town's Andrew Dufton was never going to be complaining about the conditions.
He shot a three-under 69 that included three chip-ins. Dufton and John Rademakers won both of their matches for Town while Country's Dan Cusiel did the same.
Eight masters and eight senior women also had an in-house trial on Sunday at McLeans, and Maguire said he was pleased with what he saw there too.
The next real test will be on September 30 when Canterbury play Aorangi in the sides' annual fixture at Ashburton Golf Course, though some players will be missing.
Top women's player Jess Guenzerodt and the men's pair of Bakermans and Harry Bateman will be at the Tauranga stop on the Charles Tour. There could also be another major clash later in the season.
With the Shirley Open cancelled, Harewood's new Woodlands course is likely to host a Charles Tour event at Labour Weekend, but at the same time Maguire will insist the Canterbury men's hopefuls play in the 100th annual Otago Matchplay championships at Balmacewan because a month later the Dunedin course will host the national teams tournament.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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