Waikato has maintained a perfect winning record all week at the Maraenui Golf Club in Napier to win the Lion Foundation Freyberg Masters for the first time.
Having not won the title since it began in 1986, Waikato were a class above throughout all nine rounds as they upset their more fancied rivals in the competition for 40-year-olds and over.
They finished off their perfect week with a 3-2 win over Taranaki yesterday morning before closing it out in style with a 3-2 win over Auckland - the most successful team in Freyberg Masters history with 10 wins.
Waikato were superbly led by No 1 Andrew McKechnie, who won all of his eight matches, often under pressure, to steer his team home.
He was rightfully named as the player of the tournament.
McKechnie, Phil Hunter and John Gatley managed the wins over Taranaki and then McKechnie, Ken Shea and Gatley were the heroes in the tight contest with rivals Auckland.
The other member of the squad was Wybo Veldman.
Waikato team manager John Bridle said the team were thrilled with their achievement. He lauded the team's game plan for the week, which saw Waikato playing well as a team, preparing smartly for each game, not looking too far down the track and putting pressure on the opposition.
Seven-time champions Wellington rallied late to draw with 2011 champions Canterbury and secured second place as the medals were up for grabs right up until the last matches.
Aorangi, who beat Hawke's Bay and Bay of Plenty on the final day, performed superbly to finish third.
Auckland claimed fifth and Canterbury were sixth with North Harbour claiming seventh as they were all outclassed by the underdog Waikato team.
- Waikato Times
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