Taranaki first-up rival for Waikato

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 11/12/2012

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One shot, one hole, one day at a time.

That's the recipe for success for the Waikato women's side that will start their pursuit of the national amateur interprovincial teams tournament crown in Dunedin today.

Waikato will meet Taranaki at the St Clair Golf Club and team manager Gina Scott said the team was prepared for any eventuality, particularly in dealing with the changeable weather.

"It's been nice and calm down here so far," Scott said yesterday after a couple of practice rounds.

"But we're expecting it to be a lot different throughout the week at various times.

"We'll need to play the course one shot, one hole, one day at a time."

Scott said they were made aware of how quickly conditions can change on the course when they returned after a practice round yesterday morning in idyllic conditions to find the wind had blown out a window in the clubhouse.

"It'll be a long week if it gets tough to play in, as it's a hilly course, and we'll have to be patient. There will be rough days when the players will just need to stick to the game plan."

The Waikato side which was beaten in last year's semifinal by North Harbour has a couple of major changes this year, with 2011 No 1 Emily Perry now a professional and No 2 Chantelle Cassidy also missing from the lineup.

That means Hanna Seifert has been promoted from No 4 to lead the team, with Sarah Bradley at 2, Charlotte Willson at 3, Fai Tongdethsri at 4 and Michelle Archer at 5, with Melissa Shea the reserve.

Scott said she felt Seifert was capable of handling her promotion well.

"It's a strong team unit too, which will be a bonus," Scott said.

The world's best amateur, Lydia Ko, won the player of the tournament award last year when she went undefeated for North Harbour.

However, Ko will miss this year's tournament after accepting an invitation to play a professional event in Taiwan.

Defending champions Auckland will also be without their top player, with Cecilia Cho returning to South Korea to start a professional career.

They will still start as favourites to retain their crown, with a team featuring the Keh sisters - Wenyung and Munchkin - and backed up by Joanna Kim, Brittney Dryland and former New Zealand amateur champion Larissa Eruera.

Wellington are out to break a 20-year title drought and will be led by Julianne Alvarez, with national age-group winner Te Rongopai Clay at No 2.

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- Waikato Times

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