Brown escapes carnage
IF William Brown today wins his second Poverty Bay Open title on the course he helped groom, he won’t forget a shot of survival from yesterday.
The Poverty Bay greenkeeper is one of three former champions who advanced to the Keiha Cup championship 16 semifinals on his secondary golf course.
Brown, whose primary club is Waikohu, escaped elimination in a Saturday morning of matchplay carnage that saw several of the big guns ejected.
By yesterday lunchtime, top qualifier Anaru Reedy, defending champion Peter Kerekere and third seed Matt Champness were fish-and-chip newspaper wrapping before the daily Herald had been delivered.
By late yesterday afternoon, the last four standing were 2012 Open champion Brown, 2007 champion Tony Akroyd, 2014 champion Andrew Higham and the odd man out — schoolteacher Stefan Andreassen.
Kerekere, hunting a third consecutive Poverty Bay Open crown, was cleaned up 4 and 3 by 70-year-old Tene Goldsmith, who the day before had said he would have preferred to be in the second 16.
Reedy lost 2 and 1 to 16th and championship group bottom qualifier Shayde Skudder.
Champness self-destructed against 59-year-old local golfer Peter Clayton on the 19th.
Brown almost joined the vanquished.
He looked dead and buried on the 19th against Scotsman-cum-Kiwi George Brown, only to slot a 25-foot putt from off the green for par to stay alive.
W Brown then put a “stinger 5-iron” close on the par-3 20th and shook hands after his surname-sake was unable to make par.
Akroyd was pushed all the way by Jayden Bright before winning on the 18th.
Akroyd and Skudder did not help themselves when they hit the wrong ball — each other’s — on the 15th to lose that hole.
Andreassen, who shifted to Gisborne from Mt Maunganui this year, beat two-time Open finalist Simon Jeune 3 and 2 in their Round 1 encounter.
Recently crowned Poverty Bay senior club champion Higham buried Pete Anderson 7 and 6, and seven-time Open winner Waka Donnelly put away Samuel Clemens on the same hole.
Higham and Donnelly, who both started playing golf at Te Puia Springs, had the contest of the day in the afternoon quarterfinals. The match was decided on the 18th when Donnelly found a nasty lie near the green, ended up in a bunker and conceded the hole and the match.
Akroyd avenged his Patutahi senior club championship final loss to Skudder with a 2 and 1 win after trailing 2-down early in the match.
Andreassen outlasted Goldsmith 2 and 1, while Brown disposed of Clayton 6 and 5.
This morning’s semifinals pitted Akroyd against Higham and Andreassen against Brown.
After yesterday morning’s surprises, coin-tossing could be the best predictor.
Poverty Bay Open championship 16, round 1: Andrew Higham (Te Puia Springs) def Pete Anderson (Poverty Bay) 7 and 6, Tene Goldsmith (PB) def Peter Kerekere (PB) 4 and 3, Stefan Andreassen (PB) def Simon Jeune (PB) 3 and 2, Waka Donnelly (Napier) def Samuel Clemens (Royal Wellington) 7 and 6, Peter Clayton (PB) def Matt Champness (Mt Maunganui) on the 19th, Shayde Skudder (Patutahi) def Anaru Reedy (PB) 2 and 1, Tony Akroyd (Patutahi) def Jayden Bright (Gisborne Park) 1-up, William Brown (Waikohu) def George Brown (PB) on the 20th.
Quarterfinals: Akroyd def Skudder 2 and 1, Higham def Donnelly 1-up, Brown def Clayton 6 and 5, Andreassen def Goldsmith 2 and 1.