Golfers set for battle

By Golf

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IN FORM: Jordan Golding will be a key player as Omanu look to defend their Bay of Plenty Championship title tomorrow. PHOTO/FILE
IN FORM: Jordan Golding will be a key player as Omanu look to defend their Bay of Plenty Championship title tomorrow. PHOTO/FILE

The Centennial Course at Taupo Golf Club will host the finals tomorrow to wrap up another Bay of Plenty Pennant season.

Starting in February, it has taken four months to sort out the various finalists and it is anyone's guess as to who will return to their respective clubs with the much sought-after Black Flags.

There are four divisions of men's teams and silver ladies who will all play foursomes in the morning and singles in the afternoon.

Last year by sheer coincidence Omanu, who hosted the finals, managed to have four teams qualify with all four of them taking advantage of playing at home by winning titles.

This year only their championship side have made it through to defend their title.

Led by BOP representatives Shaun Campbell and Jordan Golding they have consistently been the best team all season.

Tomorrow they will take on Tauranga, who have seasoned performers Karl Knedler and Sam Davis leading their challenge. Greens superintendent Chris Posa captains the team at five and he is supported by two 17 year olds in Byron Willis and Kingsley Wright, along with 16-year-old Josh Presley.

There seems to be little between the two sides so any advantage gained in the foursomes could prove vital.

Last year was Omanu's first success since 2001 and it was at the expense of Tauranga, who won the trophy in 2013 and 2014.

The silver ladies title will be fought out between Mount Maunganui and Rotorua-combined.

Jude Cameron and Gillian Lees, who were part of the successful women's masters team that went to Methven this year, will anchor the Mount ladies but they will be severely tested by Rotana Howard and Heather Keefe, who will be keen to regain the Brenda Milne Trophy they last won in 2014.

Previously Rotorua Golf Club managed to a field a team on their own but sensibly have combined with Springfield, which down the track will lead to a stronger competition.

With moves to increase the championship back to 10 teams playing in two divisions in 2017 there is an added incentive for the Opotiki and Springfield teams contesting the senior final.

Springfield, who for so long were the flagship club in the Bay with the likes of Danny Lee leading the way, suffered the ignominy of being demoted from the championship at the end of last year.

The intermediate match between Mount Maunganui and Opotiki will also be an intriguing battle. Individual handicaps would favour the Mount, who seem very well organised and have been solid all season.

There is a certain irony that the oldest players at Taupo will be competing in the junior division where Omokoroa take on Springfield.

Octogenarian Norm Andrews will be battling all the way with his Omokoroa buddies to win the junior flag to go with the one they took home as Western Bay in 1988.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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