Tolaga Bay look to end drought
WHEN Tolaga Bay won the Oligoi Jug men’s interclub pennants for the first and only time in 2002, Taine Lincoln was four years old.
Tomorrow, 17 years later, Lincoln will be part of a four-man side looking to end that drought and make amends for their whitewash in the 2018 final.
Tolaga Bay take on defending champions Poverty Bay (1) on neutral territory — Gisborne Park — in tomorrow’s trophy decider. The format is 36-hole individual matchplay.
Tolaga Bay have already beaten PB (1) this year, albeit on the East Coasters’ home track in round play, but it was an important win.
PB (1) boast the lowest-handicapped players in the district, headed by Peter Kerekere, on a +0.3, who has lost just one match over the 2019 series.
Tolaga Bay proved to themselves that they have the firewpower to deliver a rare Oligoi Jug title to their club.
They can also perform under pressure, as Lincoln showed when he won a sudden-death playoff against Patutahi in the semifinals to get them to the final.
Lincoln will be joined tomorrow by uncle Tere Lincoln, Bruce Yates — the only player to have beaten Kerekere this series — and Dion Milner.
Tere and Milner were members of the 2002 champion side, Milner making birdie on the first extra hole to beat Poverty Bay’s Spud Murphy.
All four will need to lift their games from last year’s final when PB (1) gave them a pasting — winning every match before the 32nd hole.
Seven of the eight players who were in that final are back tomorrow.
The PB (1) team members are Kerekere, Pete Anderson, Simon Jeune and Anaru Reedy, who replaces the unavailable William Brown.
Should PB (1) win tomorrow, it will be their 20th Oligoi crown.
Tolaga Bay have extra incentive to dethrone them.
Tomorrow also features the final round of the Endeavour men’s handicap pennants, also at the Park. Tolaga Bay have a healthy lead in that series.
In other Oligoi playoffs, Patutahi face Te Puia Springs for third and fourth, and PB (2) play Gisborne Park for fifth and sixth.