Golf: Rotorua titles for Voke and Dryland

By Greg Taipari

Auckland golfers have taken the honours at this year's Danny Lee Springfield Open.

Manukau golfer Nick Voke managed to stay cool, calm and collected despite the stifling heat during the two-day tournament, which saw temperatures soar to 32C at the weekend.

Going into the final round Voke found himself one shot behind day one leader Craig Hamilton of Omanu who was on 9 under. Also in contention were Te Awamutu's Compton Pikari (5 under) and Johnny Tynam (3 under).

Hamilton looked composed right up until the par 4 14th hole when he hookedhis tee shot and found a tree blocking his way. The Omanu golfer chipped to within 90m of the pin but still ended up with a double bogey after a three-putt. Hamilton could only par one of the next four holes, leaving an opening for Voke and Pikari.

Voke took his chance, showing great consistency by parring the last five holes.

"I started hitting a lot of good shots and the other guys faltered a bit and I just stayed calm, I guess, and got there.

From the 14th I don't think I missed a fairway or a green until the last hole and I was just hitting a lot of good shots and getting my pars."

The only time Voke looked in trouble was when he looked to have duffed his tee shot on the 18th.

"I nearly topped it, but I managed to make a good chip, get my par and get out of there."

Pikari was also looking ominous with birdies on the 15th and 16th and getting pars on 17 and 18. Pikari overtook Hamilton to eventually finish 6-under for the tournament.

Voke who finished fourth in last year's tournament, was pleased to win the title for the first time but was not sure whether he would return next year.

"Hopefully. I'll just leave it like that. Hopefully I'll return."

The battle for the women's title ended with an extra hole playoff between Titirangi's Brittney Dryland and Tokoroa's Chantelle Cassidy which was won by the 18-year-old Dryland.

The teenager said she struggled with the temperature reaching 32C at one point.

"I thought I was going to die, it was really, really hot."

Dryland said she started badly but became more consistent.

"I started off kind of bad but then, just to be honest, I got a bit lucky and I just kept getting up and down for pars."

The youngster, who finished in the top 10 in last year's tournament, said she had not worried about where she stood on the leader board or if she was even challenging Cassidy.

"Because I wasn't playing with [Cassidy], I just didn't even worry about what she was doing and just played my own game and at the end, just see what she had."

On the playoff hole, it took Dryland two shots from the tee to get her ball on the green and two putts to par the 18th. Cassidy hit her tee shot into the trees and chipped back on to the fairway, she chipped another shot to the green and took two putts to boogie the hole and give Dryland the title. Joanna Kim finished third.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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