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Smoother waters ahead of rough Masters seas for PBEC


THEY have been swimming in the deep end of the Freyberg Masters men’s golf interprovincial since Day 1 but Poverty Bay-East Coast remain afloat.

PBEC suffered their fifth consecutive defeat at the over-40s matchplay tournament on Taupo’s Centennial course yesterday — going down 4½ to ½ to Manawatu-Wanganui.

But hopes were high that trend would end this morning in what could be their most important fixture of the week-long event.

PBEC went into Round 6 today occupying the bottom slot on the 15-province table. Above them, by the slimmest of margins — half an individual point — were Otago. They were to face off this morning.

After having to negotiate some fairly rough waters for much of the interprovincial so far, conditions were expected to be smoother for the rest of the week.

Out of the five teams PBEC had played up to today, four of them went into today’s two rounds in the top five on the standings — Auckland (1st), Tasman (2nd), Manawatu-Wanganui (3rd) and Canterbury (5th). The top three had yet to lose a team fixture.

While PBEC weren’t planning on being in this battling position, they appreciated that they had a tough draw for the first few days, and it was likely the latter clashes with Otago, North Harbour and Southland would be vital.

History showed that and history has repeated.

PBEC No.4 David Solomann, for the second time this week, was the whitewash-saver against Man-Wang.

Solomann, who originates from Gisborne but now lives in Auckland, had the chance to win his match against Rick Harding after putting his tee shot on the long par-3 18th to within 10 feet, but missed the putt.

No.1 Pete Anderson almost stole a share of the spoils in his match against Junior Tatana. Four down with four holes to play against Tatana, Anderson won the next three, including a birdie-3 on the 17th. Both men parred the last for a 1-up win to Tatana — extending his record to four from four.

PBEC No.2 Eddie Brown jr was beaten 6 and 4 by Tony Chettleburgh but for the second time this week proved invaluable as a caddy for Anderson late in two of his matches.

“In the eight holes Cheese (Brown jr) has caddied for me, I’ve won five of them,” Anderson said.

No.3 Tony Akroyd went down 3 and 2 to Phil Hooper, who respectfully labelled his PBEC opponent “boring” when it came to hitting the ball down the middle all day.

Akroyd has been solid all week, as has No.5 Jace Brown, who lost 3 and 2 to former New Zealand cricket international Stu Gillespie.

Today could be their day to shine.

Simon Jeune, who has had issues with his back, returned to the side this morning after having yesterday off. He replaced Eddie Brown jr.

PBEC play North Harbour in the afternoon and end the tournament against Southland tomorrow afternoon.

PBEC beat Otago 4-1 this morning. More in the Sports Briefs column.

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