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Disappointment spurring on her efforts

GISBORNE’S top woman golfer is using disappointment as inspiration following her non-selection for the 2015 national interprovincial next month.

Tessa McDonald admits she was a little surprised not to make the Waikato squad for the women’s interprovincial in Ashburton.

“They (the selectors) didn’t really give me a reason why I didn’t make it. They just said that I was unlucky not to make it . . . and that it was a close call.”

McDonald has been based in Hamilton for the past two years, studying to be a teacher. She put that on hold halfway through this year and intensified the focus on her golf.

A member of Hamilton and Gisborne Park golf clubs, she made her debut for Waikato at the Dunes quadrangular at Te Awamutu last month.

Playing at No.5, McDonald had wins against Bay of Plenty’s Olivia Choo (7 and 6) and Auckland’s Sonia Bak (1-up) but lost to her Taranaki namesake Joanne McDonald (4 and 2).

Waikato defeated BoP and Taranaki, and halved with Auckland, who won the tournament on countback from Waikato.

The quadrangular was one of a list of selection tournaments and competition was hot for places in the six-woman team for the national interprovincial.

McDonald has competed at the national interprovincial for Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay. She was the star of HBPB in the 2013 edition, winning six out of her seven matches as they made it to the semifinals, where they lost to Auckland.

Rather than festering on missing out on the 2015 tournament, the 20-year-old McDonald intends to be a certainty for 2016.

“I’ll be putting a lot of effort into my golf over Christmas-New Year, and then I’ll go back to Hamilton and try my luck there,” she said.

It won’t be all play and no work. McDonald will be doing some work with her father David — the Poverty Bay cricket development officer — and possibly maize detasseling, as she did last summer before heading back to uni.

While home, the 3.5-handicapper will hone her game under the expert eye of professional Dave Keown.

Ever-present behind her will be her family, who include accomplished golfers in mother Karen and grandfather Cliff Poole.

McDonald is a talented golfer who, with the backing of her family, is taking the chance to see how far she can go.

It is a path that could lead to a dead end but will at the least answer a question that many years from now could still have been burning inside her had she not given it a go.

GISBORNE Park golfer Noeleen Grace capped a breakthrough year at the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay women’s champion of champions here this week.

Grace this year claimed her first intermediate club championship title in decades of playing the game.

She added a champ of champs title to that at Poverty Bay on Monday, winning the intermediate 36-hole gross with a 191 (92, 99) total.

Poverty Bay’s Peri Gayford also had a good day, winning the junior 18-hole gross (96).

Another home-course player, Anne Witters, won the former champions’ 18-hole stableford with 39 points.

Other titles went to Wairoa and Napier players.

Kate Chadwick (Napier) carded 156 (77, 79) to win the senior 36-hole gross from Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay representative teammate Kathy Olsen (Maraenui) on 164 (81, 83).

Herora Brown (Wairoa) won the nine-hole gross with 52 on countback from Jennifer Crawley (Napier).

The Napier team of Chadwick, Debra Boyens and Judy Farquharson won the Rosebowl Trophy team title. Their gross stableford score of 156 goes to NZ Golf, along with the scores of other district champ of champs team winners, to decide the national champions.