Stage set for happy ending

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 14/12/2012

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Jess Guenzerodt's perfect run for Canterbury at the national teams golf tournament in Dunedin could be the ideal way to leave the amateur ranks.

The nationals, at the St Clair course, is Guenzerodt's final amateur tournament - she begins her professional training in February - and she's so far a flawless five from five.

Her come-from-behind win yesterday against Aorangi proved to be a crucial point for her side which remains second in its section behind title favourites and defending champions, Auckland.

Canterbury's 3 -1 win over their southern neighbours means a win today against the tough Otago side will almost guarantee them a spot in the semifinals.

Canterbury have not won the tournament since 1988 and haven't made the semifinals since 2006 when they were beaten in the final in a playoff by Bay of Plenty.

The calculators could come out tomorrow if Waikato upset Auckland.

A Canterbury win over Otago and an unlikely Waikato boilover would leave Canterbury, Auckland and Waikato with five wins and a loss and individual matches won used to decide the two semifinalists.

Guenzerodt said her side wasn't concerning itself with that. It just needed to beat Otago. "Otago are a great side, they pushed Auckland and they're going to be hard to beat at home," she said.

On her own form, Guenzerodt said the explanation was easy.

"I just decided I want to enjoy myself this week and make sure I have fun. This is going to be my last amateur tournament so I want to make the most of it."

And making the most of it she is; Guenzerodt is yet to play all 18 holes in any of her rounds as she's won three of her matches on the 17th, the other two before that point.

She stopped short of saying she was playing well, conceding only that "a few putts were dropping".

Her win yesterday was crucial, especially as she was one down at the halfway point.

"We had a bit of a wait at 10 and I gave myself a talk."

She won the next, lost 11, but wins on 12 and 13 all but cemented the win.

Captain Kate Turner's 1up victory was equally important. Playing at No 4, Turner led most of the encounter with Ashburton's Nicole Nathan and sealed it at the last. Fiona Gebbie had a comfortable win at No 5 while No 1 Sylvie Williams had a creditable half with Catherine Bell.

RESULTS Canterbury 3 Aorangi 1 (Sylvie Williams halved with Catherine Bell, Elisha Crosbie lost to Catherine Knight 4/3, Jess Guenzerodt bt Ginny Bolderston 3/1, Kate Turner bt Nicole Nathan 1up, Fiona Gebbie bt Heather Oldfield 4/3). Points: Division One – Auckland 18 , Waikato 17, Canterbury 14 , Taranaki 12, Hawkes Bay 10, Otago 11, Aorangi* 7. Division Two – North Harbour 16 , Wellington 16, Bay of Plenty 15, Manawatu / Wanganui 14, Southland 13, Northland 8, Tasman 4 .* * still to have bye.

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- The Press

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