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Honours shared in battle of the Bays


A REALLY good morning. A tough afternoon.

Poverty Bay-East Coast summed up the fickle nature of golf on Day 1 of the Toro national interprovincial in Christchurch yesterday.

The 13th-ranked PBEC team hit the Clearwater fairways running, giving old rivals Bay of Plenty a fright before the matchplay honours were shared 2½-all.

Tournament heavyweights Waikato did not give PBEC a sniff in the afternoon, dishing out a 5-0 whitewash as PBEC ended the day sixth out of eight provinces in their section.

PBEC No.3 Peter Kerekere epitomised the day for his side.

Down early in his morning match against Karl Knedler, Kerekere fought back to complete a 2-up win to go alongside No.2 Anaru Reedy’s 2 and 1 win against Matt Morris and Toro debutante Hukanui Brown’s half with Min Su Seo.

Kerekere couldn’t buy a putt in the miserable afternoon weather while Waikato opponent James Fellows-Ford sank everything in a 5 and 3 win.

“I think he was 4-under when they finished,” PBEC manager Dave Keown said of Fellows-Ford’s performance.

“He just holed every putt, including 25-footers, and Pete lipped out on a lot of occasions. Another day and the situation could have been totally different.”

Reedy got his nose in front against BoP, kept the ball down the middle and did everything he needed to do, Keown said.

But he came up against “a machine” in Waikato’s Jordan Goodall.

PBEC No.1 William Brown experienced the class of two impressive players. His former Rotorua flatmate William Howard (BoP) charged to a 4 and 3 win and New Zealand amateur champion Charlie Smail (Waikato) was impeccable in his 5 and 4 triumph.

“This guy (Smail) can really play,” Keown said, adding he would not be surprised if Waikato, on this form, went on to win the title.

No.4 Hukanui Brown had plenty to be pleased about, showing his mettle under pressure in his morning half and battling away in the afternoon against Luke Kidd, who birdied the 17th for a 2 and 1 win.

“Huks played a lot of good holes,” Keown said.

Keown said No.5 Eddie Brown junior — Hukanui’s elder brother — did well considering his late call-up to the side after the withdrawal of Andrew Higham due to a family bereavement.

Eddie only flew in late Sunday afternoon so went in virtually in the dark. He lost 3 and 2 to Jordan Golding (BoP) and after going 3-down early in his match with Chris Charlton (Waikato), fought gamely before losing 4 and 2.

“He will be stronger for it,” Keown said.

PBEC this morning were to face a defending champion North Harbour side stinging from their loss to 2017 wooden-spooners Manawatu-Wanganui yesterday.

Canterbury, who halved with Wellington in their only tie yesterday, loom in the afternoon.

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