Golf: Getting into the swing of things

By Anendra Singh

The fighting spirit of amateur golf epitomises what the young brigade have taken to the annual Toro New Zealand Interprovincial matchplay tournament in Dunedin this week.

Having no joy on Tuesday, Madison Noakes found himself out for the count in the afternoon after succumbing 7 and 6 to Auckland's Jonathan Ratcliffe.

He didn't fret. The 17-year-old realised he had lost the rhythm and timing of his swing.

"I got some range balls and hit them to sort it out," the Napier Boys' High School pupil said last night, adding he hit 50 on Tuesday night and followed it up with a handful yesterday morning before teeing off against defending champions Southland on day two.

The Stortford Auto Sales Hawke's Bay senior men's team lost 4-1 to the southerners and then 3-1 to neighbours Manawatu/Wanganui in the afternoon at the testing, hilly Otago Golf Club course (Balmacewen).

Maraenui Golf Club member Noakes carded two wins - beating Southland's Matt Tautari 2 and 1 at No 5 before overwhelming Man/Wang's Junior Tatana 3 and 2.

"I was a little happier with my swing today," said Noakes, who hasn't played on the course before but is adapting now he's a little more familiar with its quirks.

"You have to play all kinds of shots here. You can't just drive off the tee. You have to play smart golf," he said, enjoying the challenges it offers.

Bay team manager Allen Forrest put the Bay's defeats down to inexperience.

"Against Southland, with four holes to go, two boys were one up and another was all square but we finished with only one win," Forrest lamented.

In the afternoon, travelling reserve Carlos Tawera stayed up with Man/Wang's Hayden Ring but lost the last four holes to succumb one down.

"We'll only learn from it," Forrest said, adding captain/No 1 Richard Squire was three down against Man/Wang but halved with Josh Munn.

The win-less Bay play Taranaki and Aorangi in a tourney, he said, where "anyone can beat anyone".

"The rain stayed away today but the forecast for tomorrow isn't so good," Forrest said with 16C and strengthening southerlies likely to whip a forecast of heavy rain.

Otago pipped Canterbury 3-2 but crashed 5-0 to Tasman for their first defeat. Fellow division two frontrunners Waikato had a bye in the morning but lost 3-1 to Southland.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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