The annual Manawatu/Wanganui v Wellington match was played yesterday at Levin in mainly sunny and calm conditions. While the course had a few extra water features after heavy rain, the course was presented very well for the event.
The Manawatu Wanganui team looked very different to last year, with a number of players no longer available. The event has 4 different team categories; Senior Men, Women, Masters Men and Junior Men, with 32 players in each district, all playing two 18 hole matches. The trophy goes to the team with the highest number of wins over all 64 matches.
The highlight for Manawatu Wanganui was the senior men drawing 12 all, after number 1 Lachie McDonald bombed a long putt from just off the green to win one up on the final hole. The Mens team had a very different look to last years team, with teenagers Liam Finlayson and Greg Shaw making their senior debut's, and Regan Cording and Denny Thompson returning to the team after lengthy absences from rep play. Trent Munn also made a return after a years absence. Encouraging also was that the top order performed strongly against a very strong Wellington top 5 boasting the current NZ amateur champion, and 3 other former NZ reps.
The Masters men had a very close result going down 7 - 5. This was an encouraging performance considering normal masters number 1 Stu Smith was playing at number 5 in the senior mens team, and won both his matches.
The Junior men had very much a development team, with Liam Finlayson and Greg Shaw, competing as part of the Senior team. Most of the Junior team were competing in this event for the first time, so it was a very good experience for them in preparation for other Junior events to come this year. They went down 9 - 3 for the day.
The womens team had lost their top 3 players from the past few years so were also approaching this match in development mode. Infact long serving representative Jenny Ritchie stood aside this year to give some younger players an opportunity. While the team were beaten 12 - 4, there were some very good individual performances which is encouraging as they build toward the Toro later in the year.
Here are the team results:
|AM reverse singles||Man/Wang||Wellington|
Congratulations to Wellington for their win 40 - 24.