Brown proves he can foot it with masters
Rookie Jace Brown proved he can foot it with the country’s top over-40-year-old players in his Freyberg Masters interprovincial debut yesterday.
Brown went unrewarded on a tough day of matchplay for Poverty Bay-East Coast on Taupo’s Centennial course — a 4½-½ loss to defending champions Auckland, followed by a 5-0 whitewash by Canterbury, who lead the competition with the Aucklanders sitting second.
Brown replaced cousin Eddie Brown junior for yesterday’s two ties. Playing at No.5, he had an 18-hole battle with Auckland’s Gareth Chitty, who won 1-up.
“Jace did really well,” said PBEC No.1 Pete Anderson, who made special mention of Brown’s prodigious length with his trusty 3-iron.
“He was hitting it past Chitty’s driver. Chitty said when he finally got one past him, he was stoked.”
Brown continued this competitiveness into his afternoon clash with Canterbury’s Anton Fouchee. The Patutahi member got his nose in front but perhaps through a lack of experience at this level fell short in a 2 and 1 defeat.
No.4 Dave Solomann provided Poverty Bay-East Coast’s only scoreboard success, and he did it in dramatic style. Playing former tennis professional James Greenhalgh, “Solly” chipped in on the last hole (the ninth as they started on 10) for birdie-3 and a half.
Anderson incurred the 12-month-old wrath of Auckland No.1 Brent Paterson in a 5 and 4 loss.
Last year Paterson’s only loss at the Freyberg Masters was to PBEC No.1 Anaru Reedy, who threw a barrage of birdies at the former New Zealand international in his 3 and 2 win.
Yesterday, Paterson returned the compliment, with Anderson the victim. He won 5 and 4 and was 5 under the card when the pair shook hands — Anderson was 2 under.
Anderson lost 1-down to Blair Dibley in the Canterbury clash. Anderson had to sink a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th to halve the hole and stay in the match after Dibley drained a 45-foot snake.
The PBEC No.1 thought he had a 12-footer for birdie on the last to halve the match only for his ball to catch the edge of the hole and fail to drop.
There was no victory present for No.2 Tony Akroyd on his 41st birthday. He lost 5 and 4 to Auckland’s Scott Robertson and 2 and 1 to Canterbury’s Jonathan Stieller.
No.3 Simon Jeune lost 3 and 2 to James Gardiner (Auck) and 4 and 3 to Aaron Forsyth (Cant).
PBEC and Otago are sitting at the foot of the 15-team table on no team points and three individual points. These teams meet tomorrow morning.
Today, PBEC were to face Manawatu-Wanganui, who had won all three of their ties so far. Eddie Brown junior was to come back into the side in place of Jeune.