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Solomann puts in a perfect performance

TWENTY-two years ago David Solomann etched his name into Poverty Bay-East Coast golfing history as a surprise winner of the 1995 Poverty Bay men’s open.

Yesterday the now-41-year-old added another chapter — this time with a perfect performance on debut at the Freyberg Masters national interprovincial tournament at the Whitford Park course in Auckland.

Solomann, known to many as “Solly”, was brought into the PBEC squad as team reserve.

Based in the big A, where he works as a system administrator in Manurewa, he was ideally placed to fill in if needed.

He was (needed) and he responded in victorious style.

With teammate Simon Jeune zipping home for Monday night’s Gisborne Girls’ High School prize-giving, at which daughter Paula received the award for being dux, Solomann slotted in at No.5 in the team for their Round 3 clash with Tasman in the over-40s matchplay tournament.

Not only did he win his match 2 and 1 in PBEC’s 3½ to 1½ defeat, he followed it up with a second success as the bottom-seeded side frightened North Harbour before going down 3-2.

Former Gisborne Boys’ High School student Solomann, a dual member of Auckland’s Wattle Downs and Gisborne country course Waikohu, notched a 4 and 3 win against Harbour’s Wayne Flintham to go along with Jeune’s 3 and 1 defeat of Mark Dawson.

No.4 Jeune had returned in time for the Round 4 Harbour clash while it was decided that Solomann might as well have another go after his morning win, and he replaced Stefan Andreassen.

With PBEC No.2 Tony Akroyd losing 4 and 2 to Mark Anderson and No.3 Pete Anderson going down 5 and 4 to Rob Simmonds, the difference between the sides was an epic 18-hole duel between the No.1s.

Harbour could not lose the tie when Stu Nicholls sank a tricky 15-foot par putt on the 16th to go 2-up.

PBEC counterpart Anaru Reedy responded by making an excellent up-and-down to win the 17th with par. But he couldn’t make the necessary birdie on 18 and Nicholls won 1-up.

“I played solid,” Reedy said.

“I just made a couple of mistakes here and there, and that’s all it takes.”

He was delighted with the performance of Solomann.

“He was awesome. It was a stroke of genius bringing him into the team.”

Solomann was also rapt with his efforts.

He rated Whitford Park his “favourite course in Auckland”.

“I’ve played it a few times in pennants. It’s very interesting. It’s got bits of everything.”

A positive and relaxed attitude also played its part.

“You have to take it seriously but have fun at the same time.”

Akroyd, playing in his first Freyberg Masters, opened his account after two losses with a half against Tasman’s Craig Newman yesterday morning.

Reedy lost 2 and 1 to Glen Drummond, Anderson — struggling on the greens — was hammered 8 and 6 by Blair Bavin, and Andreaassen, who shifted up to No.4 in the absence of Jeune, lost 3 and 2 to Michael Scholes.

PBEC ended the day still in 13th place overall out of the 15 provinces. They are among four sides yet to register a team point but with six individual points went into today’s play ahead of Otago (3) and Hawke’s Bay (2½).

Poverty Bay-East Coast had only one round today — a battle of the Bays clash with Hawke’s Bay.

Wellington lead the tournament on superior individual points. They are one of five provinces on three team points.