The Manawatu Wanganui Women's Interprovincial team had their best finish in many years by making it through to the semi-final's in Christchurch last week. Although they were beaten in the semi finals by the eventual winners Auckland, this definitely showed that our top girls are well capable of matching it with those other top teams. And with a few very young team members the team could well feature highly during the next couple of years. Huge congratulations to Tara Raj, Zhuoyi Hu, Brydie Hodge, Lisa Herbert, Lily Griffin and Casey Chettleburgh for their efforts on the course, and to Judy Seccombe and Lynne McDonald for their team management throughout the week.
The men's team also featured throughout their week at Clearwater, but unfortunately had to settle for 5th place overall, after Wellington and Canterbury dominated their pool. Still they also showed that they were very capable of matching the top teams, and had a couple of matches gone the other way, they to could have contested the semi finals also. Well done to Tyler Wood, Sam Nichols, Liam Finlayson, Regan McConaghty, Greg Shaw and Reid Perry on the course, and to Boy Manunui for managing the team and supported during the week by up and coming young player Anthony Ilton-Maher.
The highlight of the rep year was winning the men's Freyberg Masters Interprovincial in Taupo. The older fulla's certainly showed that they are still a force at the representative level. Junior Tatana was the individual rep performer of the year, winning the individual player of the tournament award with 8 wins from 8 matches. As the joint winner of the Manawatu Wanganui OOM, he would have been selected for the Toro Interprovincial if it was not for an ongoing injury forcing him to have surgery following the Masters performance. We congratulate Junior Tatana, Tony Chettleburgh, Phil Hooper, Rick Harding, Ross Geary, Stu Gillespie and manager, Marty Field for their very impressive win for Manawatu Wanganui at the Freyberg Masters for 2018.
Our Junior Interprovincial team also had a very good performance in Cambridge this year, improving a lot from the previous couple of years. They eventually finished 7th, however the positives that came out of their performances was more important than the final placing. Congratulations to Anthony Ilton-Maher, Bradley McSherry, Kaleb Idemaru, Ethan Dodds, Cameron Giddens, Ryan Rooney and Remy Early, along with Manager Dave Giddens, who was also supported by young Ethan Ward at that event this year.
Other highlights of the rep season included victory for the Shand Salver Junior team, big wins from the Women's Judy Pearson Salver team against Hawkes Bay and the Womens Toro team in their preparation match for the Caroline Scott trophy against Taranaki.
We also sent a men's and women's team to the Wellington Strokeplay which combines both and individual and district team competition. Our men's team of Sam Nichols, Tyler Wood, Liam Finlayson and Regan McConaghty won the teams event, and Sam Nichols won the individual men's competition with a very impressive 4 round total. Tyler Wood set a new course record 65 on the relatively new Boulcott's Farm Heritage course layout.
Individually throughout the year Tara Raj continues to impress both locally and nationally, and had her first really big win at the Harewood Open Charles Tour this year. Tyler Wood also had some impressive performances in some highly ranked events in 2018. Junior Tatana, Tyler Wood, Tara Raj and Zhuoyi Hu, all qualified for their matchplay stages in the NZ Amateur played at Wairakei in Taupo. Zhuoyi Hu got through to round 3 before being beaten by eventual winner Vivian Lu.
A player to possibly watch out for in 2019 is the very consistent senior performer, Tony Chettleburgh, as he becomes eligible for the over 55 New Zealand team, which plays an annual international event against the Aussies. We wish him all the best in the events leading up to that selection.
We look forward to following the progress of individuals and teams throughout 2019, and hope all the rep players have an ejoyable well earned break over the Christmas and New Year period.
Below: Women's number 1, Tara Raj