Par wars . . . may the foursomes be with you
THE “Bledisloe Cup” of Poverty Bay-East Coast golf goes on the line at the Awapuni links tomorrow.
It has nothing to do with Australia-NZ rivalry but the Enterprise Motor Group Poverty Bay men’s open foursomes trophy does have one striking similarity to the symbol of transtasman rugby supremacy . . . it’s bloody huge.
Which makes it a challenging and expensive exercise when it comes to a victory-celebrating filling of possibly the biggest golfing trophy in the country.
Just who will dig deep into the wallet to do that for 2016 will be found tomorrow at the Poverty Bay course when forces are combined in what can be golf’s most demoralising format.
Two players, one ball, alternate shots. Sounds simple, until you try it.
The pressure of playing your own ball is heavy enough. Add another player to the equation and you potentially elevate the combined stress level to a red zone marked eruption.
So how do you avoid this?
Easy. A: Play well. B: Don’t do anything stupid.
And if you don’t do either, there’s always C: Don’t care (a category of players who appreciate that playing badly on the golf course still beats work or doing the gardening).
The favourites for the trophy — which goes to the pair with best 36-hole gross score — are clearcut.
William Brown and Peter Kerekere have won the title for the past two years and three in a row is looking highly likely.
There appear to be only a few threats — Collin Jeffrey and Brent Colbert, Tony Akroyd and Regan Hindmarsh and Eddie Brown junior and Thomas Donovan.
Tomorrow will rekindle warm 2013 memories for Brown and Donovan — a 6-under 66 in the second round that won them the title and remains the lowest foursomes score at the Bay.
There are a couple of dark horses in the field although at their age, Brian Morrissey (73) and Butch Atkins (59) are closer to the glue factory than winning the grand national. But they are a couple of wily characters.
Atkins, who turns 60 on May 30, still bats off a 5-handicap at Gisborne Park while Morrissey is as straight a driver as he is a talker.
As to the overall net winners. This one’s up for grabs although don’t be surprised to see the likes of Ken White/Don Wright, Dave Jenkins/Mark Norman or Johnny Kerekere/Phil Grogan on the prize-giving list.
The Oligoi Jug men’s interclub finalists will be decided at Te Puia Springs on Sunday.
The final round-robin clashes will be played in the morning and the semifinals in the afternoon.
Defending champions Poverty Bay (1), on 28 points, have already booked a place in the last four while the other three are up for grabs although Patutahi (19pts) are likely to get one of those.
PB (1) face second-placed Patutahi in the morning while Tolaga Bay (15pts) meet Te Puia Springs (14) and Gisborne Park (14) play PB (2) (6).
The final is at Poverty Bay on May 29.