As she walked down the last hole one up, Lily Griffin didn't entertain any thoughts of going to the 19th hole as she had done the day before.

That mind set paid off dividends as Griffin claimed her maiden annual Maraenui Women's Golf Club Open Championship in Napier on Sunday.

"It was very close but [the win] sits pretty high up there," said the 18-year-old amateur golfer after a 2-up victory over Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay top seed Tessa McDonald at the Sacred Hills Vineyard-sponsored (for the 11th consecutive year) 54-hole matchplay tourney.

"I didn't try to think of it [19th hole playoff] so I just took it shot by shot," said Griffin. "I was already one up so I had a little bit of an advantage so my goal was to just do what I can."

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Three-handicapper Griffin had made the final after clinching an extra-hole decider on Saturday to pip home-club veteran Kathy Olsen.

In many respects it was an endorsement of why the Manawatu/Whanganui No 5 interprovincials player enjoys the matchplay format and champions it.

Lily Griffin (left) and Tessa McDonald with the spoils from the Sacred Hills Vineyard-sponsored Maraenui open match play tournament in Napier. Photo / Warren Buckland
Lily Griffin (left) and Tessa McDonald with the spoils from the Sacred Hills Vineyard-sponsored Maraenui open match play tournament in Napier. Photo / Warren Buckland

"There was never a point when I thought I had the match [sewn up] so it was a really hard match," she said.

The teenager was a couple up after nine holes but McDonald had clawed her way back into the game with birdies before going up.

Griffin didn't think the on-and-off rain had affected her much but did find it had put the brakes a little on the prime real estate for putting although it didn't require any major adjustments to her blueprint.

The Palmerston North Girls' High School graduate, who is in a gap year in the hope of pursuing tertiary education via a golfing scholarship in the United States, was delighted to receive the sponsor's cases of wine.

"This is the first year when I'm old enough to drink it," she said with a chuckle.

Griffin now turns her attention to speed golf at Whitford Park Golf Club in Auckland next week.

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"I only competed in it [speed golf] last year for the first time and I did quite well so I've not really done it much," she said, relishing the challenge of combining her golfing skills with the only other code she engaged in — crosscountry running — when she was younger.

McDonald found the four seasons in one day bothersome but took the defeat in her stride with no excuses.

"It kept raining ... so then it was fine and then rain and then fine ... so you have to put your clothes on and then take it off," said the 24-year-old scratchie from Gisborne who was competing in the tourney for the first time but could see the irony in the weather becoming fine after their match in the afternoon.

HBPB top seed Tessa McDonald swings in the rain but found it to be a pesky problem as she went down in a close-fought Maraenui match play final in Napier. Photo / Warren Buckland
HBPB top seed Tessa McDonald swings in the rain but found it to be a pesky problem as she went down in a close-fought Maraenui match play final in Napier. Photo / Warren Buckland

McDonald felt her start with a couple of bogeys had put her behind the eight ball but lauded Griffin for playing really well.

The physiotherapist's reception had got into some trouble, finding herself behind a few trees lining the fairways owing to her swing that requires a little bit of tweaking.

McDonald is now gunning for the New Zealand Women's Amateur Strokeplay Championship which will be staged at Hastings Golf Club in March.

"I'll have a bit of a break, get in some practice and then come back," she said is excited about returning to the Maraenui tourney next year which drew a field of 96.

Griffin beat Trish McBride, of Maraenui GC, 4 and 2 in the morning of day one while former HBPB representative Olsen had the measure of fellow Maraenui GC member and HBPB debutante Choi on 2 and 1.

McDonald had beaten Sian Stevenson, of Cambridge, before taking account of Julie Gee, of Riverside, in the afternoon of day one.

However, Olsen lost to Gee in the elimination two playoff while McBride succumbed to club mate Aseri Meikle in the elimination three affair.

South Korea-born Choi, a seven handicapper who arrived here in 2018 after settling in Auckland in 2002, beat Stevenson in the plate final.

The steely determination on the face of teenager Lily Griffin shows as she chips on to a green on the way to clinching the Maraenui open match play title in Napier. Photo / Warren Buckland
The steely determination on the face of teenager Lily Griffin shows as she chips on to a green on the way to clinching the Maraenui open match play title in Napier. Photo / Warren Buckland