Strong finish from PBEC
THE top of the order made a statement as Poverty Bay-East Coast made a move on the penultimate day of the Freyberg Masters national interprovincial golf tournament in Taupo.
Pete Anderson and Tony Akroyd racked up two wins apiece to lead their team off the foot of the 15-province table to 13th in the over-40s matchplay tournament on the Centennial course yesterday.
Anderson, at No.1 in the side, was finally rewarded for his consistent play all week — a 5 and 4 blitzing of his opponent yesterday morning in a 4-1 victory over Otago.
He backed that up in the afternoon with a 4 and 3 win as PBEC were beaten 3-2 by North Harbour — a result that denied them the chance of a top-10 finish.
They weren’t complaining. PBEC had a bye this morning and were to end the week-long tournament against Southland in the afternoon.
Depending on this morning’s results, they could finish 12th — one spot better than 2017.
Akroyd has been a mainstay of the team all week. Yesterday his efforts yielded two excellent wins – 5 and 4 against Otago at No.2 and 3 and 2 against North Harbour at No.3
The Otago tie was one that PBEC had targeted as a must-win. They responded, with Simon Jeune, at No.3, contributing a 4 and 3 win and David Solomann, at No.4, completing a dominant performance with a 2 and 1 success.
No.5 Jace Brown was the only casualty, suffering an 8 and 7 loss.
Solomann was 2 up in what was shaping as a crunch afternoon clash against Harbour, only to have a string of losses, and he ended up going down 3 and 2.
Jeune was also involved in a tight one but lost 2 and 1, while Eddie Brown junior, who replaced cousin Jace Brown for the afternoon tie, also lost on the 17th.
Anderson was understandably delighted with his results and rapt to see Akroyd “find his groove”.
Jeune, who has had back problems this week, was also pleased but feeling his age in a “youthful” PBEC side.
Jeune, at 55, is 12 years senior to the next oldest, which augurs well for the province’s future at this tournament.
The team enjoyed a few well-earned beers last night and were looking confidently to this afternoon’s Southland clash.
Up the other end of the leaderboard, the standings were delicately poised, with Tasman on top with a perfect six-from-six record, one team point ahead of Auckland — who were upset by Northland yesterday — and Manawatu-Wanganui.