Aorangi lose opening games

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012

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A young Aorangi team had a tough start to the men's Interprovincial at the Otago Golf Club, losing to Taranaki and defending champions Southland.

In the morning, they lost 3-2 to Taranaki, in perfect conditions, and then were white-washed 5-0 by Southland. Cameron Grant played well to beat Taranaki No 1 Brad Hayward 5 and 4.

Damian Rodgers, playing at 4 for Aorangi, also recorded a two-up win over Joseph Doyle.

However, the remaining three were well beaten.

In the deciding game, Jordan Green was all square through nine but lost his way to lose 5 and 4 to Jamie Reid. No 3 Garth Simpson was also beaten 5 and 4 by Zac Lewis while No 5 George Wardell was beaten 4 and 3 by Brook Gray. Both trailed early and could not make any impression on the back nine. The afternoon proved even tougher for the young team.

Grant fought hard before going down to Tyler McLean 2 and 1 but the rest were outclassed.

Green went down 6 and 5 to Scott Hellier while Simpson was again beaten 5 and 4, this time by Liam Balneaves. Rodgers was beaten 5 and 4 by Jeremy Hall while Wardell succumbed 3 and 2 to Matt Tautari.

Meanwhile, Canterbury had to fight back from being "down the gurgler" to snatch a valuable half in their opening match. Against Tasman, which narrowly missed out on the semifinals last year, three Canterbury players were two down after nine holes.

Manager Rod Hayes said to come back from there and show the fight needed to take something out of the contest was pleasing.

"At that stage, it looked like things were heading down the gurgler, but the guys did well. Actually, we were a bit unlucky at the end too, it could have been different," he said.

On the short par-four eighth, the team's 17th hole, Canterbury No 3 Harry Bateman lost his ball in long grass just off the fairway and lost the hole to go one down after fighting his way back from two down to square.

Nic Kay, the Canterbury No 4, had the opposite happen when his opponent lost a ball in the same spot, allowing the Coringa player get back to square.

Bateman halved the 18th to lose one down while Kay was unable to make par at the 18th, losing that hole to lose one down.

Captain Tom Turner, the No 5, bounced back from two down to halve his match while No 1 Jordan Bakermans and No 3 Owen Burgess both had wins. Bakermans birdied the 17th and halved 18 to beat Blair Riordan one up.

Burgess was far too good for Hamish Campbell, winning 3 and 2.

Burgess said that the Canterbury side were able to fight out a half when they did not play as well as they would have liked held them in good stead for the week.

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- South Canterbury

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