Golf: Brown promoted to No1 in team ploy

By Peter Thorley

Luke Brown has been rewarded for his consistency this season by starting the upcoming Toro Interprovincials as Northland No1 but the men's team line-up is anything but set in stone.

Selector Roy Pelsky named the six travelling Northland players on Sunday following the completion of the Garrard Shield in Auckland but said the line-up will be shuffled around as form dictates when the tournament starts at the Otago Golf Club.

Pelsky would rather not have named the line-up but said the rules dictated that the team for the opening match of the tournament had to be named in playing order.

"We've got to name the team for the opening match but these days we have the flexibility to change the order around pretty freely - if one of the guys is struggling with form then it's very likely we'll change it," he said.

Alex Neely is named at two, Chase McKeown at three, Sean Masters at four and Brad Bonnington at five with Kadin Neho as the travelling reserve - but he can be fairly sure of playing at the tournament. Brown moves from No5 to No1 replacing Bonnington, who has less time to devote to golf these days, in a tactical switch.

Pelsky said selecting the team hasn't been easy because everyone is so close in ability.

"Everyone has been working so bloody hard all year and the quality has been so high as a result - I suppose it's a good position to be in to have such strong competition for places but it didn't feel that when it came to choosing one golfer over another," he said.

The selector was a little disappointed that Northland hadn't done better in the Garrard Shield and Ralph Cup at the Royal Auckland Golf Club over the weekend.

Northland lost to Bay of Plenty and Waikato 5-2 on Saturday and halved their match against Auckland on Sunday.

"Halving with Auckland on their own track isn't a bad result and there weren't any weak teams there, they all should make the top six at the interprovincials," Pelsky said.

He said although the losses sounded heavy on paper, many of the matches were close. The Ralph Cup U-19 team also halved with Auckland and finished third overall.

The selector said Lee Neumann was particularly unlucky to have missed out on the interprovincial team after being the most successful of the Northland players over the weekend - winning all three of his matches at No8.

The Toro Interprovincials with be held in Dunedin starting on December 4.

- Northern Advocate

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