Stuart Whitaker is the chief reporter of the Te Puke Times and a general reporter for Bay of Plenty Times.

Golf: Omanu remain Pennants champs

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Jordan Golding has shown great form as Omanu Men's Championship Pennant team number 1.
Jordan Golding has shown great form as Omanu Men's Championship Pennant team number 1.

The Omanu Men's Championship Pennant team led all the way through pool play this year and deservedly retained their Bay of Plenty Pennants title by defeating Tauranga 5-4 in the grand final at Taupo on Sunday.

Tauranga had the edge after the morning foursomes with a 2-1 advantage, but only Chris Posa and Byron Willis managed to secure singles victories for the Gate Pa team.

Omanu number6 Keegan Wiltshier gave himself the perfect 19th birthday present, but not without a few late wobbles. Early on he looked to be cruising at 6-up on 16-year-old Josh Presley, but then lost five holes in a row to be only one up on the short par4 17th.

The  team of Tawera Williams, Shaun Campbell, Paul Crone, Jobey Hudson, Keegan Wiltshier, Jordan Golding, Ron Sisson (manager).
The team of Tawera Williams, Shaun Campbell, Paul Crone, Jobey Hudson, Keegan Wiltshier, Jordan Golding, Ron Sisson (manager).

However, his superb tee shot found the middle of the green and a two-putt birdie secured the first singles win for Omanu after Posa had beaten Omanu number5 Paul Crone on the 15th.

The middle group singles between Omanu's Tawera Williams and Jobey Hudson and Tauranga's Byron Willis and Kingsley Wright provided all the drama. The news coming from the top seeds was that Jordan Golding and Shaun Campbell held the edge over Karl Knedler and Sam Davis so, with Omanu favoured to secure those two matches, the pressure was on Williams and Hudson to get the fifth game in.

Willis kept Tauranga's chances alive after Williams missed the fairway on 16 and managed to drive the 17th to keep his nose in front. He backed this up making the green on the strong par 3 finishing hole and even the matches at 4-all.

However, Hudson hit a great shot into 18 then calmly binned a 3m putt to win 1-up over Wright and take any thoughts of a playoff out of the equation.

Manager Ron Sisson, who for many years represented Manawatu-Wanganui at inter-provincial level, was justly proud of his young charges and especially his top order where Golding and Campbell sent an emphatic message to the Bay selectors that they are ready for the big league.

The combined Rotorua team had to work all the way to defeat a determined Mount Maunganui to take the Silver Ladies Brenda Milne trophy.

Led by Bay representatives Rotana Howard and Heather Keefe, Rotorua were favoured to take the title and led 2-1 after the foursomes. Sue Aitken secured a singles win over Debbie Maindonald for the Mount and Judy Cameron halved with fellow masters representative Shelley McElroy and although most matches went close to the wire the Rotorua/Springfield combination prevailed in the other four singles matches.

Opotiki seniors put a dent in Springfield's aspirations of returning to the championship division by claiming the Senior Championship.

Mount Maunganui completed a successful season by taking the intermediate division title built on a strong foursomes effort where they only dropped half a game, then Craig Nicholson and Keith Smith both won their singles matches and Gerry Fox gained a half to secure the victory without having to rely on the top of the table matches.

Springfield were too strong for Omokoroa in the junior final in winning the foursomes 3-0 and were the first team back in the clubhouse to celebrate their victory.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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