Rookie Reedy no pushover
BEWARE of the rookie.
Anaru Reedy, at the age of 47, will play in his first, and possibly last, Toro national interprovincial golf tournament in Christchurch next week.
The opportunity to experience the award-winning Clearwater course and tick off the honour of playing at this level from his golfing “to do” list proved irresistible.
On Monday, Reedy will tee off at No.2 in a Poverty Bay-East Coast side determined to lift their ranking of 13th out of the 15 provinces.
He will be joined by William Brown (at No.1), Peter Kerekere (No.3), Hukanui Brown (No.4) and Andrew Higham (No.5).
To label Reedy a rookie is misleading.
While it will be his first Toro, he brings with him vast experience: from playing at the top level in his Wellington days to multiple Freyberg Masters national interprovincials for PBEC, not to mention the various titles — including the Aotearoa Maori crown — he has won over the years.
If anything, Reedy will be looked to as a leader by his teammates, who range in age from mid-20s to early-30s.
It’s a prospect that excites long-time PBEC manager Dave Keown.
“Anaru brings a level of golf, a level of respect . . . and it is really refreshing to have someone with that golfing maturity in the team,” Keown said.
Reedy, who is starting to reap the benefits of a swing technique called Gravity Golf, is one of two players who will taste Toro matchplay for the first time.
Hukanui, or Huks, Brown will also make his debut when PBEC meet Bay of Plenty in the opening round.
Hukanui was reserve for PBEC at the 2014 national interprovincial in Hamilton but did get game time. He put up his representative hand with his runner-up finish at the East Coast Open and has not looked back.
“Huks is an exciting and dynamic player,” Keown said.
“Huks, we know, can beat anyone on the day. It’s just a matter of developing that faith, that belief, that he is there for a reason.”
Completing the team are three men Keown describes as “the glue” — “guys who have been there, done that over many years”.
Higham will be playing in his 11th national interprovincial and has forged a proud record. Many opponents have fallen victim to his at-times insane ability and Keown is confident this year will be no different.
William Brown, at just 25, will rack up his 10th consecutive Toro. He was the PBEC player of the tournament last year, with a record of three wins, two halves and just the one defeat at No.3.
This year he is at No.1, where he faces the likes of New Zealand amateur champion Charlie Smail (Waikato) and North Island strokeplay champion Matt McLean (Canterbury).
First-up on Monday will be a reunion of sorts. Brown will play Bay of Plenty No.1 William Howard. The pair were roommates as members of the Rotorua Boys’ High School Golf Academy and flatted together while at Waiariki Institute.
Peter Kerekere, also a seasoned national interprovincial player, makes a welcome return after missing last year because of the impending birth of twin daughters.
Keown is almost rubbing his hands in anticipation of the week ahead.
“We’ve got five positive-thinking players who have really moulded together as a group. I think their course management skills and their thought processes have developed immensely.
“Now it’s time to get on the course, analyse Clearwater and make the most of their talent.”
PBEC face Bay of Plenty and Waikato on Monday, defending champions North Harbour and Canterbury on Tuesday, Aorangi on Wednesday and Manawatu-Wanganui on Thursday.