Waikato score early win over Taranaki

Waikato have got off to a winning start at the New Zealand women's interprovincial championship in Dunedin.

The high winds that marred the men's national tournament last week at Balmacewen have not returned to the coastal St Clair course and the players have made the most of the good conditions this week.

Fourth-seeded Waikato downed Taranaki 3-2 in the opening round yesterday morning and then had the afternoon off for their bye ahead of a tough couple of days in pool play.

Manager-coach Gina Scott said the top three golfers had played particularly well to secure the wins needed for the team victory, led by No 2 Sarah Bradley, who downed Holly Winter 6 and 5 with some impressive play.

No 3 Charlotte Willson, who has returned to the team after a year off because of studies, had an equally comfortable win, downing Celeste McLean 6 and 5.

New No 1 Hanna Seifert showed she could handle the step up with a 2/1 victory over Carol Chard. However, Fai Tongdethsri had a day to forget, losing 4/3 to Rochelle Keegan.

Newcomer Michelle Archer went down 4/2 to Vanessa Bouvet at No 5.

"The two who didn't win probably didn't play as well as they would have liked to but, at the end of the day, 3-2, we'll take it," Scott said.

Earlier this year, Waikato had lost to Taranaki at an eight-woman quadrangular teams event in Taupo.

"So they were again tough but we were tougher."

Waikato face a tough day today against South Island teams Aorangi and Canterbury before playing another two rounds tomorrow and one on Friday ahead of Saturday's playoffs.

"It's a tough golf course to walk around, it's pretty hilly, and it will be the survival of the fittest possibly," Scott said of the team contest.

"It's super exposed here and if the wind blows, it will definitely change the way the course is playing, for sure," she said.

Waikato Times