Te Kanawa Cup glory to Leggett, Reynolds
Been there, done that. And the plan is to do it again and again and again after Tony Leggett and Brad Reynolds became the 2018 Te Kanawa Cup men’s pairs champions at Gisborne Park Golf Club on Sunday.
Leggett and Reynolds defeated gallant lone soldier Butch Atkins 3 and 2 in the handicap matchplay final.
Atkins’ partner Wayne McHugh was not able to play — and the golfing community wishes him all the best — leaving his cohort to fend off blows from two fronts.
And what a fighting effort Atkins put up.
Off a 9-handicap, Atkins made Reynolds (10) — who had shot 74 for 44 stableford points the day before — and Leggett (21) work for their second taste of Te K success.
The former Poverty Bay-East Coast representative had a 1-up lead at several stages in the front nine, including chipping in for birdie-2 on the fifth hole.
But when Reynolds made a par from nowhere to square the match on the eighth, Atkins never got in front again.
He certainly tried, winning the 11th to square the match after trailing 1-down at the turn.
Wins on the 12th and 13th holes, however, put Reynolds and Leggett 2-up, and when Reynolds parred to win the 15th, Atkins was staring down the barrel at dormie-3 down.
Leggett inflicted the killer blow on the 16th but both winners had plenty of praise for their vanquished opponent, who was 4-over the card when they shook hands.
The Te Kanawa Cup has a rich history dating back to the former Turanganui Golf Club.
Reynolds and Leggett joined a prestigious group of multiple winners — Leggett having won it with Stu Blair in 2009; Reynolds with his “poppa” Allan Nairne in 2015.
Nairne’s name features on the trophy more than any other club member — five times.
“After we won on 16 he gave me a hug and told me I’m still three away from him,” said Reynolds.
“I knew that damn well and plan on beating that record.”
With Leggett, of course.