Golf: Tauranga prevail in thriller

By Chris McAlpine

All the drama expected on Pennants finals day came to fruition at Rotorua's Arikikapakapa course on Sunday.

In the Championship division, Tauranga prevailed in a close contest with Mount Maunganui by 6.5 to 5.5.

Tauranga achieved the advantage they were looking for in the morning foursomes by securing a 2.5 to 1.5 lead. The lead out pairing of Chris Charlton and Ben Shanly scored a comfortable win over Damian Kempson and Marcus Gray, and John Waretini and Blair Murdock secured a 1 up victory over Andrew Ward and Brad Kendall. But the key result of the foursomes came with the fightback of the No1 pairing of Hayden O'Donnell and Eddie Burgess to secure a half with Hayden Beard and Mark Hughes.

The afternoon singles had just begun when news came through that former New Zealand representative and Tauranga No1 Eddie Burgess, had snapped his driver on the middle of his down swing dislocating a thumb and conceding his match to Hayden Beard.

Through the halfway stage the Mount held a slim advantage and, when Marcus Gray fought back to defeat Chris Charlton, things looked good for a back-to-back victory to the seasiders. Ben Shanly gained one back for Tauranga, securing a win over Damian Kempson, and Justin Rasmussen always had the upper hand over Jason Madden.

The key moment came on the 18th green with Tauranga's Karl Knedler, who was 1 down to Andrew Ward, nailed a 15m birdie putt to gain a valuable half point. Ward had a 5m birdie chance to secure victory but his ball just slipped by the hole.

John Waretini held on to halve his match with Mark Hughes and the unflappable Blair Murdock was too steady for Brad Kendall, securing the point to give Tauranga the title. Bailey Smith played very well to prevail over Hayden O'Donnell but the result was already in the bag when their match finished.

Senior A winners were Whakatane over Lake View, while the only easy victory was achieved in the Senior B division where Wairakei Tui defeated Tauranga 7-2, with former Wellington representative and Bay Master's player Tom Slaven firing a 3 under round in leading his team to victory.

The Intermediate final between Opotiki and Tauranga went to the wire, with Tauranga's Paul Smith holing a bunker shot on the penultimate hole to give Tauranga their second flag of the day.

The junior title went to Hamurana who defeated Hinehopu 5 games to 4.

At Springfield, Rotorua beat Omanu 4.5 to 1.5 to win the ladies Silver final, with all three players off handicap securing wins. The highlight for Omanu was 14-year-old Alanna Campbell defeating her experienced fellow Bay of Plenty representative Heather Keefe.



Mount Maunganui 5

Tauranga 6


Kempson and Gray lost to Charlton and Shanly, Smith and Madden defeated Knedler and Rasmussen, Ward and Kendall lost to Waretini and Murdock, Beard and Hughes halved with O'Donnell and Burgess.


Damian Kempson lost to Ben Shanly, Jason Madden lost to Justin Rasmussen, Andrew Ward halved with Karl Knedler, Mark Hughes halved with John Waretini, Brad Kendall lost to Blair Murdock, Bailey Smith def Hayden O'Donnell, Hayden Beard def Eddie Burgess.

Senior B

Wairakei Tui 7 Tauranga 2

Foursomes 3-0 Wairakei


Phil Davis def Caleb Logan, Russell Fitzgerald lost to Harm Drost, Dean Lawson lost to Richie Semple, Topia Ropiha def Murray Warner, Matt Ellis def Liam St Clair, Tom Slaven def Bill Anstis.


Tauranga 5 Opotiki 4

Foursomes: 2-1 Opotiki


Lindsay Klee def Barry Howe, Dave Cooper def Ben Culbertson, Paul Smith def Ray Shove, Brian Benjamin def David Moore, Klaus Niermann halved with Milton Kiri, Rick Harding lost to Keanau Howe.

Ladies Silver

Omanu 1 Rotorua 4

Bronny Gower lost to Debbie Maindonald, Shona McQueen Carroll lost to Hinerangi Richardson, Shelley Faulkner lost to Dianne Gilmour, Debbie Noble halved with Gloria Mayes, Aroha Tito lost to Rotana Howard, Alanna Campbell def Heather Keefe.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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