After 63 years, Manawatū-Whanganui are back on top in women’s interprovincial golf.
The team have taken out this year’s national championships at Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club.
Captain and team No 1 Tara Raj said their 3-2 win against North Harbour was at the same venue where Manawatū-Whanganui won the title in 1960.
In recent years, the team have made it to the semifinals but never all the way.
Raj said she was on the second-to-last hole when she heard the result.
“I couldn’t cope, I was so excited; I ended up just stopping and giving the girl I played the match because I wanted to celebrate with the team.
“I can’t even describe how good it felt.”
The North Harbour team had two players in the New Zealand national academy.
Most of the matches were close but the team managed to stay well composed throughout the tournament, Raj said
“I think we all went in with the mindset that we could win, which was something we’ve always had but not that strongly.”
Raj’s 16-year-old sister, Sera Raj, was also in the Manawatū-Whanganui team and both the sisters’ parents caddied for them.
Team No 3 Faith Vui lives in Samoa, but joined the team this year.
Her win was enough to secure the title for 2023.
“We had a lot of support and people to keep us calm,” Raj said.
All the players have fulltime or part-time jobs and train individually.
Raj said playing together for the past five years meant they were a tight-knit group.
“I think that’s what also makes it even more special — we’ve all got these other lives but then we can come together for this week.”
Raj said she knew the team could do it, but to have gone out and achieved the result was “an amazing feeling”.
Auckland took out the men’s competition at Paraparaumu Beach.
Eva de Jong is a reporter for the Whanganui Chronicle covering health stories and general news. She began as a reporter in 2023.