FORTY-six years ago, Karen Pearce won her first senior women’s club championship title.
On Saturday, under her married name Karen Hay, she clocked up number 19. And there was a striking similarity between the first and the latest for the Gisborne Park great.
Hay recalls the 1975 final as being a 38-hole matchplay battle with Cini Hapi.
The 2021 edition, against Jo Kerr, went almost as far . . . 37.
“It was a fantastic match,” said Kerr, who was vying for her fifth senior crown on the trot. “One of the best matches I’ve played in.”
Seesaw was the perfect description.
Kerr led 3-up after nine holes only for Hay to storm back in the second to take a 3-up lead at the halfway stage.
By the 28th tee, Kerr was back in front — 1-up. But Hay made another resurgence to lead 3-up with four holes to play.
Kerr wasn’t done. She won the 33rd, 34th and the 36th to force a sudden-death play-off.
“That’s when my 3-wood became a tree-wood,” Kerr said.
Kerr found the trees off the tee and could only chip out while Hay, as she had been most of the day, was “beautifully down the middle”, Kerr said.
By the end of the par-5 hole, Hay had two putts for the win from a short distance but Kerr saved her the formality by conceding.
Hay, who described herself as “the oldie now”, was typically modest in victory.
“I just went in to make the numbers up. I didn’t think I was going to win.”
The final was “a good game”, she said. “It could have gone either way”.
Hay, as Karen Pearce, won the senior title in 1975 and 1976. As Karen Hay, she won it in 1979 and 1997, then from 2000 to 2011, and again in 2014 and 2016.
While she doubts she will be senior champion 50 years after her first win, she is keen to return next year and give a 20th title a crack.
Jean Foot collected her fifth intermediate women’s title with a 3 and 2 win over Mihi Marino in the 27-hole final.
Defending champion Foot, who has won the title four times in five years, led 4-up after 18.
Kath Papuni made it consecutive junior titles, beating Carolyn Carpendale 3 and 2 in the 18-hole decider.
STICK to your game. Believe in yourself. Punish the mistakes.
Tony Akroyd took that attitude into club championship finals day and emerged triumphant.
Akroyd defeated reigning champion Anaru Reedy 2 and 1 in their 36-hole senior men’s matchplay final.
Reedy was a warm favourite but Akroyd was inspired by the memories of his Poverty Bay-East Coast representative underdog days.
‘‘It took me back to all those times we had to front up to play all the guns at rep tourneys.’’
A long-time rep, Akroyd took a similar approach to his rep encounters into Saturday’s final . . . ‘‘put your blinkers on, play hole by hole, forget about what you did, good or bad, stick to your game and believe in yourself’’.
The putter proved a deadly weapon as Akroyd forged a 4-up lead at the halfway stage, got to 5-up with five to play, then ‘‘survived a mini-comeback’’.
‘‘I just tried to keep with him and pounce on his mistakes. I holed a lot of crucial putts to keep the pressure on him all day. I holed some bombs.’’
Reedy said it was some of the best putting he had ever seen.
Akroyd, who also won the Park senior title in 2002 and 2005, may well have had some divine assistance. He was later reminded that Saturday was the birthday of his late nan Paddy Campbell, who played a big role in his early golfing years. She would have been 94.
Akroyd now has his sights on the Freyberg Masters (over-40s) national interprovincial.
‘‘I’ve figured a few things out over the past few weeks. I’ll be working on these leading up. Hopefully I’ll make the Masters team.’’
Considering Reedy is the main selector, Akroyd has a good chance.
The putter was also the crucial club for Tom Reynolds as he defeated Shannon Toa on the 34th hole of the intermediate final.
‘‘My putting was the difference over the first 18,’’ said Reynolds, who went to lunch with a 3-up advantage.
‘‘He turned that around in the second 18 but ran out of holes. If he had played like he did last week against DB (Danny Boyle in the semifinals), it would have been a different story.’’
It was a second intermediate success for Reynolds. His first was in 2015.
Matt Henwood made no contest of the 18-hole junior final against Tony Leggett.
The pair shook hands on the 11th, with Leggett being given a new nickname in the clubhouse — ‘‘Legs 11’’.
First-year member Henwood added the junior honour to the Te Kanawa Cup pairs title he won with Craig Christophers earlier in the season.
Jordon Coppen beat Charlie Uili 2-up in the endeavour final.
SUNDAY — Men’s stableford: P Nepia 38, S Phillips 37, J Collier 36.
Twos: T Pointon, M Emery, J Collier.
Women’s stableford: R Taiapa 80-17-63, 45.
Twos: R Taiapa.
Hole-in-one on 14: R Taiapa.
Wednesday (Sept 29) — Women’s medal: K Hay 81-9-72.
Drawn two: S Maisey.
TUESDAY (Sept 28) — Veterans’ stableford: C Carpendale 36, P Nepia 35, W Carpendale 35, B Cameron 33, A Reedy 33.
Twos: A Reedy.
COMING UP: SUNDAY , King Cup women’s 27-hole competition, report at 8a, for 8.30 start; THURSDAYS, Diggit Gizzy twilight golf; SATURDAY, Oct 16, Greentree Shield mixed drawn pairs ambrose, put your name on board in office
CHAMPIONS turn it on when they have to.
And that’s exactly what William Brown did as he saw off a dogged Simon Jeune to claim his second senior men’s club championship crown on the course he prepared on Saturday.
Greenkeeper Brown defeated Jeune on the 34th hole of the 36-hole matchplay final.
Brown was 2-down after seven holes in the morning but upped his game, particularly in the second nine during which he threw four birdies — the 10th, 14th, 16th and 18th holes — at Jeune to be 4-up at the lunch break.
That advantage proved crucial.
The widely-respected Jeune wasn’t about to go away and worked his way back into the match to be 2-down playing the 32nd (par-4 14th).
The short 14th, though, is bread and butter for the power game of players like Brown.
He drove to the fringe of the green and made birdie, had the chance to finish it the next hole only for the pair to half in bogeys, then got it done on the 16th.
‘‘The golf was solid, considering the change in wind direction halfway through and the tough pin positions I put out there for us’’ Brown said.
Brown has the chance of a club championship double as he is also playing in Te Puia Springs’ champs.
Kim Travers emulated father Mike in winning his first junior club championship title.
Travers junior beat top seed Murray Smith on the 18th hole of their 18-hole matchplay final to join his father on the honours board — Mike won it in 1989.
What looked like being a reasonably comfortable victory turned into a bit of a slog. Travers led 3-up with four to play but Smith won 15 and 16 and had the chance to square it on 17 only to three-putt. Travers looked decidedly relieved when Smith conceded defeat on the 18th green.
MONDAY — Women’s par: F Pell +5, M Lane +4.
SUNDAY — Men’s stableford, division 1: J Situ 38, S Andreassen 37, P Kerekere 35, G Clapham 35.
Division 2: M Karalus 41, G Hawea 39, G Marchbank 36, R Johnstone 35, K Travers 35.
Twos: M Karalus, G Clapham, P Humphreys, D Pirimona, G Hawea, C Carmody, M Jefferson.
Saturday — Twos: G Hawea, S Andreassen.
Thursday (Sept 30) — Men’s stableford, division 1: T Williams 39, I Murphy 37, C Dean 36, A Kirkpatrick 35, J Jenner 35.
Division 2: J Aitchison 37, J Pittar 37, G Clapham 37.
Twos: H Johanson.
SUNDAY (Sept 26) — Men’s stableford, division 1: B Morgan 40, C Taewa 39, A Hayward 37, B Brown 36, A White 36.
Division 2: C Carmody 40, G Hawea 37, L Pollitt 37, R Young 36, N Jones 36, P Goodwin 36.
Twos: B Brown 2, G Morley, C Carmody.
Jackpot: B Brown.
SATURDAY (Sept 25) — Men’s stableford, division 1: S Jeune 37, J Situ 35, A Kirkpatrick 35.
Division 2: D Bush 35, D Mettrick 34.
Twos: S Harbottle, S Jeune, J Jenner, J Situ, P Hakiwai.
Thursday (Sept 23) — Thursday Throne men’s par: T Williams +1, N Mackie +1, A White sq, B Colbert sq, J Van Helden sq, I Murphy -2.
Twos: B Colbert , G Morley.
new member Reuben Mottart has made an early impression.
With a handful of rounds under his belt at Patutahi, Mottart fired 90-25-65 to win the junior division of the men’s net on Sunday — one ahead of Martin Weaver.
Pat Hokianga got a two and the jackpot in winning the senior division with 68 while Sheree Gray’s 73 was best of the women.
SUNDAY — Men’s net, senior division: P Hokianga 68, G Brown 69, D Pohatu 70, J Brown 70, S Marsh 71.
Junior division: R Mottart 65, M Weaver 66, A Nimmo 69, B McKenzie 70, D Quinn 71.
Women’s net: S Gray 73, D Johnston 74.
Twos: J Brown, P Hokianga.
Jackpot: P Hokianga.
FRIDAY — Meat pack 9-hole stableford, senior division: G Hawea 20, T Green 19, B Cameron 19, R Pardoe 18, H Harris 18.
Junior division: D Skudder 19, I Tietjen 17, C Brown 17, G Maude 16, D Maloy 16.
AARON Coker had no problems playing a reverse version of the course on Sunday.
Coker was the best of the men in the course backwards stableford, compiling a winning 41 points.
Audrey Tamanui-Nunn’s 38 topped the women.
SUNDAY — Course backwards stableford, men: A Coker 41, K Tamanui 39, P Milner 37, T Smith 35, S Te Rito 35.
Women: A Tamanui-Nunn 38, M Tuapawa 30.
COMING UP: SUNDAY, course backwards/drawn fours competition.
WILLIE Albert enjoyed a winning weekend on the Mahia links.
Albert combined with Gid Pitman to win the Tombleson Triples 27-hole net on Saturday and did it on his own with 40 points in the stableford on Sunday.
The Triples was a close affair. Albert and Pitman totalled 98.6 for the three nines — best-ball, Canadian foursomes and ambrose — and were just 0.1 ahead of Dave Waihaki and Wade Wesche.
The shot of the day came from Wesche, who holed his approach on the 327-metre par-4 fourth hole for an eagle-2.
SUNDAY — Stableford: W Albert 40, Wayne Wesche 39, B Crowley 38, T Smith 35, L Steel 35, R Smith 35.
SATURDAY — Tombleson Triple pairs net (9 holes best-ball, 9 holes Canadian foursomes, 9 holes ambrose): W Albert/G Pitman 98.6, D Waihaki/Wade Wesche 98.7, L Steel/E Westwood 97.9, M Wesche/A Denigan 105.
DION Milner denied Murray Yates a third consecutive stableford victory but only just.
Milner won Sunday’s competition with 41 points, one clear of Yates.
SUNDAY — Stableford: D Milner 41, M Yates 40, S Cranswick 39, J Sheridan 38, B yates 38.
Twos: D Milner.
COMING UP: SUNDAY, club championship finals, 9.30am tee-off.
A CHANCE chat on the 19th culminated in victory for Ron Young and Nigel Jones at Tolaga Bay on Tuesday.
The Poverty Bay pair won the Gisborne East Coast Veteran Golfers’ Society’s annual Croskery Tankard.
Young and Jones totalled 44 points for the four-ball best-ball stableford event to win on countback from clubmate John Pittar and Tolaga Bay’s Joe Lincoln.
Poverty Bay’s Stefan Andreassen and Jon Jenner were third on 42 and another PB/TB combo, Bernie Rothchild and Tuki Sweeney, were fourth on 41.
Young and Jones were talking about the event in the Poverty Bay clubhouse on Sunday. Neither had a partner so decided to join forces.
The best score of the day was actually posted by locals Jeremy Murphy and Joel Lincoln, 45, but they are not eligible age-wise to be veterans (50 years and over).
Murphy and the Tolaga Bay crew received high praise from the vets for the condition of the course and hospitality.
Thirty-five players competed and they got in just before the heavens opened.