Aorangi finally get on the board

JACOB PAGE
Last updated 05:00 17/12/2012
catherine knight
NATASHA MARTIN/ Fairfax NZ
Golfer Catherine Knight

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The Aorangi South Canterbury women's golf team avoided the wooden spoon at the National Interprovincial Golf Championships thanks to a 4-1 win over Tasman on Saturday.

It was a deserved first win for the team, who had become more competitive as the week progressed, despite losing their six previous matches.

The result meant Aorangi finished 13th of 14 teams.

The team had been held together by the strong performances of No 1 Catherine Bell and No 2 Catherine Knight.

The duo again picked up crucial wins on Dunedin's St Clair Golf Course and this time had support from their team-mates to record a comfortable win.

Knight was the big success of the week. After losing her first two matches, she won her next five, including a convincing 3 and 2 triumph over Tasman's Lesley Baxter.

Bell's encounter with Emily Stenhouse went to the 18th hole but Bell held her nerve to consolidate her lead and win 2 up.

No 4 Nicole Nathan bookended her tournament with wins.

After a victory on the first day against Otago's Dale Dagg, the Ashburton 14-year-old had to wait until her last round to prevail again, this time over Tracy Bary 6 and 4.

No 5 Barbara O'Connell also had a 5 and 4 win over Jean Gibson.

Team manager Beverley Green said the team were thrilled to finally get a win.

Green said the team always faced a tough task because their handicaps were quite high compared with the rest of the teams.

"We really need two more players for the team.

"We have three players in the two Catherines and Nicole who are on the right level but we need to get more players involved."

Auckland beat Wellington 3-2 in one of the most closely contested finals since the tournament began in 1949, a hole in one by Auckland No 4 Brittney Dryland helping to swing the momentum Auckland's way after it looked like Wellington were cruising to the title.

Wellington's heartache in the event continues.

They have not won the title since 1992.

It was the third time Wellington had made the final since the format change in 1999.

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- The Timaru Herald

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