Upset loss blow to Waikato

Waikato men's golf team suffered a 3-2 upset loss to previously winless Aorangi at the men's national interprovincial tournament in Dunedin yesterday, leaving them an uphill task today to reach the playoffs.

Waikato team manager John Bridle said it was now a case of having to win both of today's final round-robin matches, against Manawatu-Wanganui and Wellington, and hope other results went their way.

"It's simple arithmetic tomorrow - we've just got to go out and win both matches and if we do that and win well it will give us a chance to reach the semifinals," Bridle said yesterday.

That is a big ask for the young Waikato side with four teams - defending champions Southland, Manawatu-Wanganui, Auckland and Wellington - all ahead of them in division one locked together on three points, with just two teams to make it to tomorrow's playoffs against the top two sides from division two, who are currently Bay of Plenty and Otago. Waikato are on two points from their two wins and two losses.

Waikato had the services of their No 2 Luke Toomey back yesterday after he was rested with a stomach upset the previous day, but both he and schoolboy No 1 Compton Pikari went down in the windy conditions to their Aorangi opponents. Toomey was beaten 3 and 2 by Jordan Green, while Pikari was one of two Waikato players to lose on the 18th green, going 2-down to Cameron Grant. Playing at No 4 for Waikato, Ho Jun Sung lost 1-down to Damian Rodgers.

Waikato's winners were No 3 Tom Brockelsby and No 5 Steven Kuggeleijn, who both chalked up big victories - 8 and 6 over Garth Simpson and 6 and 5 over George Wardell respectively.

"It was a very disappointing overall result for us," said Bridle. "Our top two are just not getting on top of their opponents at the moment and need to get their games going," he said.

Waikato Times