Golf: Still chance for Northland at Toro

Northland's stars aren't quite aligning but they're a long way from being out of the Toro Men's Golf Interprovincials at the Otago Golf Club, despite copping a couple of early losses.

The Northland team went down 3.5-1.5 yesterday to perennial favourites Bay of Plenty; their second loss in three rounds but manager Roy Pelsky wasn't throwing in the towel yet.

"We certainly can't afford to drop any more games but we're not out of it yet, we'll do our best to win the rest of our games and hope other results go our way," he said.

After a bad start against BOP, the team pulled themselves back into contention on the back nine with No1 Luke Brown notching up his second straight win over a New Zealand golfer with a 2-1 win over Brad Kendall.

Sean Masters fought back from two holes down to halve his match with Victor Janin at No4 but unfortunately the other two close matches were lost. Chase McKeown lost on the 18th by one hole, while Brad Bonnington lost by two, with No2 Alex Neeley crashing to a 6-4 loss after winning both his games on the opening day.

Northland fancied their chances of beating North Harbour in their opener on Tuesday but while they were competitive, they went down 1-4, with the only win going to Bay of Island's golfer Alex Neely.

Neely beat Kevin Budden, while former No1 Bonnington was uncharacteristically thrashed 5-3 by Harbour No5 Jason Gulasekharam. McKeown and Masters again went close, losing by one at the 18th, while Brown finished two down.

In the afternoon Northland registered their first win by taking down Tasman, who were full of fight after halving their morning match against Canterbury.

Brown had his first win over the highly rated Blair Riordan 1-up, while Neely made it two in a row against Hamish Campbell. Master's clinched the tie with a 2-1 win, while Kadin Neho had his first match, replacing the out-of-sorts Bonnington at No5, losing 2-1. McKeown went down 5-3 against Ryan Chisnall.

Poverty Bay chimed in with the upset of the competition yesterday beating North Harbour 4-1 to keep Northland's hopes alive that they can win a semifinal place.

Northland had their bye yesterday afternoon with only one match scheduled for today.

- Northern Advocate

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