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‘I played like a dog’ . . . and won: Terry Pointon

HE didn't raise his arms to the sporting gods and emit a war-like bellow of triumph.

He didn't dive into the crowd to receive hugs and kisses from the adoring masses.

He didn't even pump a fist.

In fact, Terry Pointon's low-key reaction to winning the 2021 Power Connections 18-hole Shootout final at the Electrinet Park course on Sunday was about as far removed from celebration as one could get.

As were his blunt comments when The Herald caught up with him on his jetski, fishing at Opotiki yesterday.

“I played like a dog,” Pointon said. “I just managed to hang on.”

Pointon was the last man standing after over five hours, 18 holes and a two-man putt-off to decide the champion.

The shootout is an 18-hole, 19-man event in which a player is knocked out each hole until only one remains.

The player with the worst net score is eliminated and if more than one player has the worst net, a putt-off or chip-off is held to decide who goes.

Up for grabs is cash — from $5 to the mug dispatched on the first hole to $500 for the overall winner.

This year there was also a $250 bonus if a player who qualified in the top three went on to win it.

That nearly happened. Glen McKinnon was within smelling distance of the extra moolah only for Pointon to beat him in a putt-off on the 18th.

Pointon was the first to admit he should have gone a lot earlier.

“I only came good for the last four holes. Up to then I was chopping my way round.

“It was really funny. There were holes when I thought I was gone, only for someone to muck it up.”

First to go was Dave Rameka, followed by James Witika (2nd hole), Mike Christophers (3rd) and Mason Emery (4th).

Pointon was nearly knocked out literally on the fifth where Darrel Gregory dug his way to China in the left-hand bunker, then skinned his ball over the green.

“I was 40 metres away from him and this ball goes sailing over my head,” Pointon said.

Gregory duly departed and Dave Harrison followed on the sixth after four-putting.

When asked to describe his performance in going out on the seventh, Anthony Pahina said “a shocker”.

When asked to describe son Shaun's performance in going out on the ninth, Anthony Pahina said “a shocker”.

In between the Pahina meltdowns, Matt Henwood fell on his sword on the eighth.

Steve Phillips lost a six-man chip-off on the 10th and Pete Stewart had tree trouble before joining the dearly departed on the 11th.

Top qualifier Craig Christophers' hopes evaporated on the 12th, witnesses putting it down to “over-coaching” by his caddy.

Tom Reynolds, fresh from raising his bat (108) at Cape Kidnappers the preceding Friday, exited on the 13th.

At this stage, the other father and son in the field — Danny and Zane Boyle — were still alive. Two holes later, they weren't.

Danny shanked his tee shot on 14 on the way to his elimination. Zane drove out of bounds and out of contention on the 15th.

All four players left — Pointon, McKinnon, Tony File and Ray Grace — had a putt-off on the 16th. Grace lost.

McKinnon and File had a 45-foot putt-off on the 17th. McKinnon sank his attempt. File did not.

That left McKinnon and Pointon.

Both made par on 18, forcing a putt-off. McKinnon put his ball to about 2½ feet away, Pointon 1½ feet.

While Pointon played down the victory, it should be pointed out that all you have to do in a shootout is be better than one person on each hole.

He ultimately proved better than them all.

SMILE OF A CHAMPION: Terry Pointon is known for his big smile and he wore it fittingly after winning the Park golf club men's shootout final on Sunday. Picture supplied