Golf: Bay pip Taranaki for first win

By Anendra Singh

He doesn't practise much, so for travelling reserve Carlos Tawera to carve a win yesterday speaks volumes about his talent.

It also poses the question: How good could he be if he spent more time than just once a month driving, chipping and putting?

The 19-year-old Maraenui Golf Club member yesterday was among fellow Stortford Auto Sales Hawke's Bay senior men's representative team members who got on the right side of the ledger to claim their first victory at the annual Toro New Zealand Interprovincial national matchplay tournament in Dunedin.

It was a day for the interprovincial debutantes as Madison Noakes and Russell Mitchell joined Tawera to pip Taranaki 3-2 at the Otago Golf Club course, the oldest in New Zealand and also affectionately known as Balmacewen.

No5 Tawera thumped Brook Gray 5 and 4, No4 Noakes beat Joseph Doyle 2 and 1, and No3 Mitchell pipped Zac Lewis 1 up in the only round of the day as players avoided inclement weather kicking in the afternoon.

They have a bye this morning before playing their last qualifying match of the tourney this afternoon against Aorangi.

"It was Madison Noakes' third consecutive win, Russell Mitchell's second, and Carlos Tawera's first and they are all young guns," team manager Allen Forrest said yesterday.

Forrest said Mitchell and Noakes were one down after the first nine and then two down in the second before showing some resilience to claw their way back for victories.

Tawera, who played his third game as a reserve, carded a two-under par in his win.

"I don't go out to practise much," says the former Hastings Boys' High School pupil, who only a couple years ago trained every day of the week.

The two handicapper from Hastings said practising had become problematic because he had become a father to Manaia, who has just turned 1, and needed to find employment to look after her and partner Sian.

To find himself among the winners yesterday was "a good feeling and a big relief".

"My putter was on fire and the course is a real good workout."

Tawera said the interpovincials was a memorable experience but accepted he could improve his prowess dramatically by finding a job soon to take a load off his mind.

The Bay are last on the division table with one team point and 7.5 individual ones after yesterday's only win.

Captain/No1 Richard Squire lost to Brad Hayward 1 down, while No2 Ben Swinburne lost to Jaime Reid 3 and 2 to remain win-less.

Yesterday's reserve, HBHS teenager Max Gill, will play this afternoon.

"Ben hasn't been playing well, so he'll be standing down for little Max tomorrow," Forrest said of Swinburne, who came into the fray of a predominantly young team as the second most experienced player.

He said former PGA professional Squire was also win-less but the calibre of fellow top seeds in opposition sides were of a high standard, including national academy players.

"The future's looking good after today's performance but we're not the only team creating upsets," Forrest said after Aorangi upset Waikato 3-2.

Bay of Plenty again showed their class to be the only unbeaten team after round five was completed in cool and windy conditions.

The six-time champions, who have won their six titles in the past 10 years, continued their fine form at the national team's championship when they defeated hosts Otago by 3 to 1 to claim the top rung of the division two ladder with 15 individual points from a possible 20.

BOP have all but secured their place in the final four in division two with Otago, Tasman, Northland and rank-outsiders Canterbury.

In division one, leaders Southland lost 3-2 against Manawatu/Wanganui yesterday to precariously cling to the top rung of the ladder.

A battle of kitchen-sink proportions will take place today for playoffs berths.

Southland, Man/Wang, Auckland, Wellington and, to a lesser-extent, Waikato are still in the equation.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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