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Drama on the fairways

RELIEF or elation.

Probably a bit of both for Poverty Bay-East Coast players Bruce Yates and Dougal Watts after ending losing streaks in dramatic style at the Freyberg Masters interprovincial yesterday.

Both players halved their afternoon matches as PBEC lost 4-1 to Bay of Plenty and 3-2 to Aorangi at the over-40s tournament at New Plymouth Golf Club.

It broke a run of 18 consecutive defeats for Tolaga Bay’s Yates and a streak of 10 losses for senior police constable Watts at the annual event.

In-form Anaru Reedy, playing at No.2, provided PBEC’s two wins — taking his record to three victories from four matches for the week.

Watts’ half with Aorangi giant Regan Stills — Watts estimated his height at around 6ft 8in — was one for the Houdini files.

Stills was 5-up after nine holes then 5-up with five to play. Watts, at No.5 in the five-man team, proceeded to birdie the next three holes.

He put his approach to a foot from the hole on the fifth hole (they started on the 10th), then nearly holed out for one on the par-3 sixth.

He slammed a 7-iron into the par-5 fifth for two to set up a third consecutive birdie then was gifted the eighth when he his opponent went out of bounds.

Stills had a 2-foot putt on the ninth to thwart Watts’ comeback but left it short, and Watts slotted an 18-incher for the win and a memorable comeback half.

No.4 Yates was 2-down with three to play in his clash with Ray Grant but fought back. He had the chance to snatch an individual win and a team half but missed a four-foot bogey putt on the last.

"Getting better with each day"Reedy, in his first masters, has been getting better with each day. He was disappointed to lose his opening match on Monday but “figured out a few things” and has been playing solid since.

He saved the whitewash against Bay of Plenty with a 1-up win over Blair Murdock then applied too much pressure on Aorangi’s Owen Miller to win 3 and 2.

Despite his performance, however, PBEC still remain winless as a team — a record dating back to 2009.

They are also man down, with Pete Bremner out of action for the rest of the week with a recurring back problem. It means they have no reserve to call on.

PBEC are sitting 15th and bottom of the table on no teams points and 5½ individual wins.

They faced Otago today, followed by Hawke’s Bay and North Harbour tomorrow, and Tasman on Friday.

Day 2 results — Poverty Bay-East Coast 1 Bay of Plenty 4: John Wyllie lost 5 and 4 to Darryn Lowans, Anaru Reedy def Blair Murdock 1-up, Simon Jeune lost 8 and 7 to Steve Heberley, Bruce Yates lost 4 and 3 to Bryan Pirani, Dougal Watts lost 2 and 1 to Jason Madden.

PBEC 2 Aorangi 3: Wyllie lost 5 and 4 to Jason Leary, Reedy def Owen Miller 3 and 2, Jeune lost 5 and 3 to Jeremy Goodman, Yates halved with Ray Grant, Watts halved with Regan Stills.