Log In


Reset Password

Slam contender

GOLF

HE rules over Te Puia Hot Springs.

He rules over Tolaga Bay.

And in September, Anaru Reedy intends to extend his dominion to Gisborne.

Reedy, 50, has the chance to complete Poverty Bay-East Coast golf’s version of a calendar grand slam after dominating the King of the Coast men’s open final at Tolaga Bay on Sunday.

Reedy, from the East Coast but flying the Electrinet Gisborne Park flag, beat Poverty Bay Golf Club greenkeeper William Brown in the championship 16 matchplay final.

It was the third consecutive time the pair had met in a “Triple Crown” tournament final.

Brown beat Reedy 3 and 2 in the Poverty Bay Open in September last year.

Reedy avenged that with a 3 and 2 victory over Brown to win the East Coast Open crown in April.

Those two results and form this year meant no one was surprised to see the pair navigate their way to Sunday’s final at the King of the Coast.

That was where Brown’s challenge came to a grinding halt.

Reedy didn’t need brilliance. Solid was good enough to put away his younger rival, their match ending on the 14th hole.

“He wasn’t at his best,” Reedy said. “He was hitting it fat a lot — going down a club and coming up short quite a bit. I played solid and in the end that was enough.”

Reedy’s toughest test of the weekend came in the first round from Springfield golfer Craig Newbrook, father of former New Zealand golf representative Penny Newbrook.

Reedy led 3-up early in the match but “a couple of silly little mistakes” allowed Newbrook back in.

Reedy was 2-up with two to play. He lost 17 with a bogey but held on for a 1-up win.

His next challenge was Tokoroa member and 2015 KotC winner Nathaniel Cassidy.

In a battle of former national Maori champions (Reedy 2004, Cassidy 2015), Reedy won 3 and 2.

It put him into a semifinal against Patutahi’s Dwayne Russell.

“He played really well but I got away early again and was never down,” Reedy said of his 2 and 1 win.

Brown, who made it three former national Maori champions in the field (he won in 2014), beat Springfield’s Ray Shields 7 and 6 in Round 1, Park’s Tony Akroyd 6 and 5 in the quarterfinals and Poverty Bay’s Thomas Donovan 3 and 2 in the semis.

For the top male golfers in the district, the PBEC grand slam relates to what they call the Triple Crown — the East Coast Open, the King of the Coast and the Poverty Bay Open.

An elite group have won all three over their careers, Brown the most recent of those.

The Herald is in the process of finding out whether a calendar-year grand slam has been done.

If it has, the most likely contenders are the late greats Peter Rouse and Eric Gordon.

It has not been done this century. In fact, Reedy is the first player this millennium to win the East Coast Open and the KotC in the same year.

Akroyd won the KotC and was runner-up in the East Coast Open in 2001. Likewise Andrew Higham in 2013.

Brown was runner-up in both and won the Poverty Bay Open in 2012.

Reedy said the grand slam was “not a consideration for me” heading into the KotC, the first time he had played in the tournament.

But it is now.

“It’s going to be in the back of my mind,” he said, referring to the PB Open at the Awapuni Links course from September 23 to 25.

His next focus, however, is successfully defending Park’s senior men’s club championship crown.

Reedy used the word “awesome” more than once to describe all facets of his first KotC experience . . . his opponents, the standard of the course and the famous Coast hospitality.

“Uawa turned it on.”

Anaru Reedy has local golf’s equivalent of a calendar grand slam in his sights. He is pictured with the King of the Coast men’s open trophy he won at the weekend. Picture by Paul Rickard