Brown brothers on song as PBEC avoid wooden spoon
Poverty Bay-East Coast rookie Hukanui Brown is well known for his singing voice.
On Thursday, he made sweet music on Christchurch’s Clearwater course as he and brother Eddie Brown junior produced a memorable duet at the Toro national interprovincial golf tournament.
Hukanui fought back from 4-down after 10 holes to halve his match in a 2½-all draw with high-flying Manawatu-Wanganui in the last section game for PBEC in the week-long matchplay tournament.
Elder brother Eddie, an 11th-hour call-up after Andrew Higham returned home because of a family bereavement, continued what has become a tradition of saving his best to last with a 1-up win.
Peter Kerekere’s 3 and 2 win completed what had seemed an unlikely result against a side who were in the hunt for a place in today’s semifinals.
The team half-point for PBEC not only gave them one team point overall but also enabled them to avoid the wooden spoon in the 15-province tournament.
It instead went to Hawke’s Bay, perhaps the unluckiest team of the Toro, as they lost five consecutive clashes 3-2.
PBEC were sympathetic but not shedding tears for their neighbours, whose line-up featured Tyson Tawera, the 2017 King of the Coast champion at Tolaga Bay.
“Unbelievable” was how PBEC team manager Dave Keown described the feeling after his side started the tournament as they finished it. Their record featured an opening-round half with Bay of Plenty, three consecutive 5-0 defeats, a 4-1 loss to Aorangi, then yesterday afternoon’s draw with Manawatu-Wanganui. That last match was very nearly a win.
Hukanui, at No.4 in the side and playing in his first national interprovincial, lost the last hole after coming back from 4-down with eight holes to play to be 1-up on the 18th tee.
Eddie, who only two weeks ago was in the PBEC team at the Freyberg Masters in Taupo, was 3-down after three holes. In his previous national interprovincial appearance at Hamilton in 2014, he broke his matchplay duck with a win in the final tie. At this year’s Freyberg Masters in Taupo, he won his last match after losing the rest.
No.3 Pete Kerekere anchored the PBEC effort with what Keown said was “really solid” golf in his 16th-hole victory.
The other two matches were close. No.1 William Brown lost 2 and 1 to the talented Tyler Wood, who Keown said finished birdie, birdie, par, birdie.
No.2 Anaru Reedy also lost on the 17th.
Keown was immensely proud of the side and praised them for their fortitude after a series of whitewashes in horrible South Island weather.
“They went out there and tried their hardest,” he said.
“They never lost heart and that’s something we should be proud of.”
The semifinals were to feature Canterbury against Northland and Wellington against Auckland.