The annual match between Manawatu Wanganui and Wellington is being played this Sunday at Levin Golf Club, and shapes up to be an interesting contest. Wellington are traditionally stronger in this contest mainly due to the depth they have available to them over such a large squad of players. In total 30 players from each district will compete, with 10 Senior Men, 8 Women, 6 Masters Men and 6 Junior Boys. Each player will compete in two 18 hole matches against different opponents.
The Manawatu Wanganui senior men have a reasonably experienced side this year, with the return of former rep players Tyler Hodge, Trent Munn, Ewan Westergaard, Riki Kauika and Josh Sedgwick to the squad, to join last years Toro team members Liam Finlayson, Regan McConaghty and Reid Perry. Missing from last years Toro team that finished 5th, is Tyler Wood, (unavailable for this match), Sam Nicholls, (started a PGA traineeship), and Greg Shaw, (taking a break from rep golf). The other 2 players included for this match are Andrew Jackson, making his debut for Manawatu Wanganui (formally from Bay of Plenty), and Shaun Millard, who has played some rep golf in the past, from Levin.
The Manawatu Wanganui Women's team is also looking pretty strong, with 5 players that made the semi finals at last years Toro, all in the team. Those players are Tara Raj, Zhuoyi Hu, Brydie Hodge, Lisa Herbert and Lily Griffin, with just Casey Chettleburgh missing as she is currently overseas. They are joined by Katherine Paskins, and Mudra Lakhani, while 12 year old, Sera Raj, makes her debut in the team.
The Masters Men also have a solid line up with 5 of last years winning Freyberg Masters team all competing. Those players are Junior Tatana, Tony Chettleburgh, Phil Hooper, Stu Gillespie and Ross Geary, with just Rick Harding missing due to another commitment. Jordan Wells from Rangitikei joins the team against Wellington, in his debut for Manawatu Wanganui.
The Junior Boys team are weakened by the unavailability of Bradley McSherry and Anthony Ilton-Maher from the usual line, which allows room for some other juniors to get their chance to impress. Ryan Rooney has shown great form of late to lead the team, and will be joined by Kaleb Idemaru, Cameron Giddens, Ethan Ward, Remy Early and Ryan Donaldson. Their Wellington opponents are pretty strong on paper, with lower handicaps right across their squad, but like always it comes down to how you play on the day, so handicaps are irrelevant.
The Wellington team is strong across all 4 teams, and includes 2 current NZ reps, with Kerry Mountcastle at number 1 for the men's team, and Darae Chung, number 1, in the women's team. The Manawatu Wanganui top order will well and truly be up for that challenge, and should make for some great watching.
All the best to all the players from both districts on Sunday.
The teams (in order)
|Man Wang Men||Wellington Men||Man Wang Women||Wellington Women|
|Tyler Hodge||Kerry Mountcastle||Tara Raj||Darae Chung|
|Liam Finlayson||Jonno Cane||Zhuoyi Hu||Erica Cui|
|Regan McConaghty||Thomas Woods||Brydie Hodge||Lucy Davis|
|Trent Munn||Elton Nicholson||Lisa Herbert||Alanah Gullery|
|Ewan Westergaard||Owen Lloyd||Lily Griffin||Shantalia William|
|Reid Perry||Josef Edge||Katherine Paskins||Sissi Palayo|
|Riki Kauika||Andrew Drummond||Mudra Lakhani||Lonise Tago|
|Josh Sedgwick||Sam Forrester||Sera Raj||Cheycoda Cocks|
|Andrew Jackson||Cam Elers|
|Shaun Millard||Jordan Burgess|
|Man Wang Masters||Wellington Masters||Man Wang Boys||Wellington Boys|
|Junior Tatana||Malcolm Gullery||Ryan Rooney||Sam Marsters|
|Tony Chettleburgh||Mark Whalen||Kaleb Idemaru||Paxton Jones|
|Phil Hooper||Mike Trass||Cameron Giddens||Harry Allardyce|
|Stu Gillespie||Matt Pegg||Ethan Ward||Harry Ward|
|Ross Geary||Brad Rowland||Remy Early||Aiden Blackler|
|Jordan Wells||Darin Hiroki||Ryan Donaldson||Will O'Connor|
Pictured below is Tyler Hodge, who is making a return to the Manawatu Wanganui mens team for the match against Wellington.