The Shand Cup, Sybil Green and Masters quadrangulars were played over the weekend at Wellington's Boulcott's Farm Heritage Golf Club. The teams competing were Manawatu Wanganui, Hawkes Bay, Wellington and Taranaki.
This year was the first year that the Men's Masters team were invited into the event. This was because the timing of the Junior Interprovincial meant that it was not feasible to have the traditional 4 player Junior team competing for the Shand Salver. However the timing is perfect for the Men's Masters preparation for the Freyberg Masters which is played in early November. The Masters played as a 6 player team.
The Manawatu Wanganui teams had mixed results through the 3 teams. The Mens masters team came first, the women's Sybil Green team performed very well to finish 2nd, but the men's senior team finished bottom in the Shand Cup.
The Men's Senior team were without some of the more experienced players. Junior Tatana had to withdraw due to injury, Regan Cording withdrew from rep golf for the remainder of the year, and Greg Shaw and Ewan Westergaard were both unavailable for this event. This meant they had to bring in players that were inexperienced at this level of competition.
The best result of the men's senior players came from Guy Perry, who continued his good form to be unbeaten with a win and 2 halved matches. Cory Higgs had his first hole in one on the par 3 third hole in his match against Wellington. The team had narrow losses to both Taranaki and Hawkes Bay, but were comfortably beaten by Wellington. Hawkes Bay went on to win the Shand Cup.
The women's team dropped their first match against Wellington 6.5 - 1.5, but came back with wins against Taranaki and Hawkes Bay to finish a creditable 2nd. The only unbeaten player was Tania Hook playing at number 4, with 2 wins and a half. Brydie Hodge, Tara Raj, Mudra Lakhani & Jill Hall each had 2 wins from 3 matches. Wellington was the winner of the Sybil Green.
In the masters men's team Ross Geary went through with 3 wins from 3, Phil Hooper had 2 wins and a half, and Tony Chettleburgh and Rhys Watkins both secured 2 wins. Mike McSherry had 1 win and a half. The team had 4.5 - 1.5 wins over both Hawkes Bay and Taranaki, and a 3 all draw against Wellington. With Manawatu Wanganui and Wellington both finishing with 5 points, Manawatu Wanganui won on the countback of total individual matches won (12 against Wellington's 10.5). Congratulations to the Masters men.
It has now been proposed to keep the Masters men event an annual fixture as part of the Shand Cup event, with all teams agreeing to pay tribute to the late Stuart Smith, whom passed away suddenly last year. Many of the players competing this year had played against Stu at Masters or Senior level in representative play over the last 10+ years, and his passing was of course a shock to everyone. We believe that it would be very fitting to name the trophy the Stu Smith Memorial. Stu Smith would have been extremely proud to see that Manawatu Wanganui will be the first name on the first name on the trophy.
A big thank you and congratulations to all the Manawatu Wanganui representatives that competed at this years event.
Men (8 players) - HB 6 pts, 14.5 games; WN 4 pts, 16.5 games; Taranaki 2 pts, 10.5 games; Man/Wang 0 pts, 6.5 games
Women (8 players) - WN 6 pts, 19.0 games; Man/Wang 4 pts, 12.0 games; Taranaki, HB 1 pt, 8.5 games
Masters Men (6 players) - Man/Wang 5 pts, 12 games; WN 5 pts, 10.5 games; HB 2 pts, 7.5 games; Taranaki 0 pts, 6 games