Youthful side off to Otago

21:57, Nov 21 2012
garth simpson, 2007
Garth Simpson

A young and relatively untested Aorangi golf team will tee up at the National Interprovincial Golf Championships at the Otago Golf Club next month.

Ashburton's Cameron Grant and Jordan Green will play at numbers 1 and 2 respectively.

Timaru Golf Club's Garth Simpson will play at 3, with Highfield's Damian Rodgers at 4 and Geraldine's George Wardell at 5 in a team light on experience at interprovincial level.

St Andrews' Matt McLean is the travelling reserve while Highfield's Daniel Perham was unavailable because of work commitments.

Of the five, only Rodgers returns from last year and that team struggled and scored only half a point from a week-long tournament against the best amateurs in the country.

The draw at the Balmacewen course has also done them no favours with Taranaki first up, followed by defending champions Southland, Wellington, Auckland, Waikato and Hawke's Bay.


Gone from last year is No 1 Tim Leonard, who is playing golf on a college scholarship in the United States, as well as Scott Fox, Owen Millar and Robbie Bell.

Rodgers, 18, debuted at the interprovincial last year.

Green also has some experience playing for Aorangi at Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club as a 15-year-old in 2010 but was unavailable last year, as was the case with Grant.

At 24 Simpson is the oldest in the team and has returned to the game after taking a break while finishing his honours degree in accountancy.

He last played for Aorangi in 2005 and 2006, including when Timaru Golf Club hosted the tournament.

Manager Grant Williams said while the team was young it had some advantages. "We have had two warmup tournaments at Balmacewen and George and Cameron study in Dunedin so are familiar with the course.

"Yes, we are light on interprovincial experience and it would have been great to have Daniel (Perham) but the selectors are happy with the team."

The tournament tees off on Tuesday, December 4.

The Timaru Herald