Double loss for PBEC at Toro
THEY were always expecting a steep climb but Poverty Bay-East Coast were a little shocked by the gradient of the opening day’s challenge at the Toro men’s national interprovincial tournament yesterday.
Invercargill turned on a day to match the start of summer and many players complemented it with hot scoring on the Otatara course.
Birdies flew freely and PBEC players fell victim to that quality in losing 4½ to ½ in their round 1 tie against Canterbury.
It didn’t get any easier in the afternoon — a round 2 date with defending champions Waikato, who soundly beat the 15th and bottom-ranked province 5-0.
“It was a long day,” a tired PBEC player/manager Tony Akroyd said last night.
“It was really hot. We went out and hit balls this morning, and it was overcast, and we thought ‘sweet’. Then there was a parting in the clouds and next thing, no clouds.”
Akroyd said three of the players, including himself, played par golf against Canterbury. It wasn’t good enough.
No.3 and team captain Pete Kerekere saved the whitewash with a half against Oscar Cadenhead — a player familiar with Gisborne golf, having won the 2013 North Island strokeplay at the Poverty Bay course.
No.1 Nathaniel Cassidy’s opponent, Jordan Bakersman, made what Akroyd described as a miracle par on the last to win 2-up.
No.3 William Brown lost 4 and 2 to Daniel Laughton while Akroyd went down 4 and 3 to Jake Hallinan.
“I had four birdies and this dude had six . . . we halved three holes in birdie.”
No.5 Andrew Higham lost 3 and 2 to Andrew Green.
Waikato, featuring Srixon NZ academy members Luke Toomey and Denzel Ieremia, were in another class.
Toomey, the 2013 NZ strokeplay champion, disposed of Tokoroa-based Cassidy 6 and 5, Nick Coxon beat Brown 5 and 4, Ieremia defeated Kerekere 3 and 2, Sam Vincent put away Akroyd 4 and 3 and Chris Charlton downed Higham 3 and 2.
Stunned by morning lossAkroyd said that having played pretty well in the morning with only Kerekere’s reward, they went into the Waikato tie “a little bit stunned”.
“We felt we had played well enough to win,” said the senior member of the team, who assumed the role of manager after PBEC Golf Association decided not to send a manager with the six-man side.
Akroyd said the course was in supreme condition. There was a bit of moisture in the morning but as the day warmed up, the slick greens only got faster, making downhill putts almost knee-trembling.
PBEC made their mark at the opening ceremony when Cassidy won a pre-tournament shootout competition.
Each province named one player to shoot for a flag from 108 metres. Provinces went in reverse order of ranking. PBEC were first and Cassidy put a 50-degree wedge to six feet of the flag. None of the 14 others could match it and Cassidy was presented with a glass trophy.
PBEC were to face Bay of Plenty and Manawatu-Wanganui today. Reserve Eddie Brown junior replaced Akroyd for this morning’s round.
RESULTS, Round 1 — PBEC ½ Canterbury 4½ (PBEC names first): Nathaniel Cassidy lost 2-down to Jordan Bakersman, William Brown lost 4 and 2 to Daniel Laughton, Peter Kerekere halved with Oscar Cadenhead, Tony Akroyd lost 4 and 3 to Jake Hallinan, Andrew Higham lost 3 and 2 to Andrew Green
Other Round 1 results: Auckland 3 Tasman 2, North Harbour 3 Bay of Plenty 2, Aorangi 2 Southland 3, Taranaki 1½ Hawke’s Bay 3½, Wellington 3 Northland 2.
Round 2 — PBEC 0 Waikato 5: Cassidy lost 6 and 5 to Luke Toomey, Brown lost 5 and 4 to Nick Coxon, Kerekere lost 3 and 2 to Denzel Ieremia, Akroyd lost 4 and 3 to Sam Vincent, Higham lost 3 and 2 to Chris Charlton.
Other Round 2 results: Manawatu-Wanganui 3½ Aorangi 1½, Tasman 4 Hawke’s Bay 1, Canterbury 2 Southland 3, Taranaki 1 Otago 4, Northland 4 Auckland 1.