Aorangi upset Waikato in Otago

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2012

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Aorangi have upset Waikato 3-2 at the interprovincials at the Otago Golf Club.

Damian Rodgers, 18, was the hero for Aorangi after being three down with five to play against Ho Jun Sung. He stormed home, winning the 16th, 17th and 18th holes to finish 1-up.

It was Aorangi's first win in five matches at New Zealand's oldest golf course, after failing to record a victory last year.

For a while, it seemed the match might follow a similar theme, with the team threatening but not quite able to pull off a victory.

Aorangi's top two players, Cameron Grant and Jordan Green, recorded solid victories, having led throughout their matches.

Grant beat the highly rated Compton Pikari 2-up while Green beat Luke Toomey 3 and 2.

Grant was calm down the stretch and, after dropping the 14th and 15th holes, birdied the 16th to secure the win.

Garth Simpson, who is struggling to find his touch, found the going tough against Tom Brockelsby losing his first five holes, and eventually going down 8 and 6.

George Wardell, who won his first interprovincial match against Auckland, could not keep the momentum going, losing 6 and 5 to Steven Kuggeleijn.

Waikato were third equal in their division and seventh equal until the upset by Aorangi. A win over Hawke's Bay today would allow Aorangi to climb higher in the rankings.

Aorangi manager Grant Williams was delighted for his team.

"It was a good win and deserved, we have a good unit going with a great team spirit."

Meanwhile, Bay of Plenty have shown their quality once again to be the only unbeaten team at the Toro Men's Interprovincial after five rounds.

The six-time champions, who have won six titles in the past 10 years, continued their fine form when they defeated hosts Otago by 3 to 1 .

The win meant the Bay, who won the title three times in a row from 2007 to 2009, could confirm their position as the top team in division two after scoring 15 individual points from a possible 20.

The Bay have all but secured their place in the final four and the other teams in division two playing to join them are Otago, who are yet to have their bye, Tasman, Northland and rank outsiders Canterbury.

In division one, leaders Southland lost 3-2 against Manawatu-Wanganui in round five. The defending champions remain top of division one but there will be an almighty scrap today for positions in the playoffs.

Southland, Manawatu-Wanganui, Auckland, Wellington and, to a lesser-extent, Waikato all have a chance of making the semifinals.

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- The Timaru Herald

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