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Russell gets the job done for PBEC

GOLF is predominantly an individual sport.

You're the only one hitting that small stationary white ball.

It's you making the mistakes, you producing the brilliance, you often deciding your fate.

But at events like the national interprovincial tournament, the you becomes a co-star in a production all about we.

Dwayne Russell knows that only too well from his professional rugby experience and for the second day running at the 2021 national interprovincial being held on the Ashburton course, his you contributed immensely to the we.

Russell, who started the week as reserve in the Poverty Bay-East Coast team, made it two wins from as many matches as the side were edged 3-2 by Manawatu-Wanganui yesterday in Round 5 of the week-long matchplay tournament.

Russell won 5 and 4 over Kaleb Idemaru at No.5, with par golf good enough to get the job done.

But while clearly happy with his performance, Russell took greater satisfaction from contributing to the team tally.

“It was good to get a win for the team,” said Russell, who only three weeks ago was representing his province at the Freyberg Masters national interprovincial at Paraparaumu Beach.

PBEC manager Dave Keown applauded Russell's efforts.

“He's not playing spectacularly but he played to what he needed to. It was a huge win.”

While Russell has been rock-like, William Brown is rock star.

Brown made it four wins from five matches this week with a 2-up defeat of Ryan Rooney.

“Wi is standing above the crowd,” Keown said. “It's unbelievable how he has played.”

Brown was a little less exuberant in describing the win.

“Yeah bro, solid golf again.”

Keown felt for No.1 Andrew Higham in his 3 and 2 loss to Tyler Hodge — the partner of Gisborne's top women's golfer Tessa McDonald, who will be at No.1 for Hawke's Bay-Poverty Bay at the women's national interprovincial in Timaru next week.

Former pro Hodge delivered one telling blow at a pivotal part of the match — the 175-metre par-3 12th hole, which Keown said was playing about 190m into the wind.

“Andy stiffs a 3-iron to two inches of the hole and his mate (Hodge) is 35-feet away and bins the putt.

“If he had not holed it, the match would have been back to square.”

Hodge then went birdie, birdie, Keown said.

“It's just one of those things. Andy played some pretty good golf but couldn't quite make it.”

No.2 Hukanui Brown lost 5 and 4 to Liam Finlayson while No.4 Peter Kerekere was beaten 3 and 2 by Cory Higgs.

“Pete fought but it snuck away from him through good golf (from Higgs).”

Only one round was played yesterday.

PBEC finished the day sitting 10th out of the 13 provinces on one team point and nine individual wins.

They played 12th-placed Northland this morning, which was PBEC's last round as they have a bye in the afternoon.

“The guys are pretty happy,” Keown said. “Hopefully they can get a win or half out of Northland and cement a position that is not last.”

PBEC were 15th and bottom of the table in 2020, posting zero team points and just two individual wins.

Only 13 provinces are competing this year as Auckland and North Harbour were unable to attend due to Covid-19.