Bay of Plenty has shown their quality once again to be the only unbeaten team at the Toro Men’s Interprovincial after round five was completed in cool and windy conditions today at the Otago Golf Club.


The six-time champions, who have won their six titles in the past 10 years, continued their fine form at the national team’s championship when they defeated hosts Otago by 3 ½ to 1 ½.


The win saw the Bay, who famously won the title three times in a row from 2007 – 2009, confirm their position as the top team in Division Two after scoring 15 individual points from a possible 20.


The Bay has all but secured their place in the final four and the other teams in Division Two who are playing to join them are Otago, who are yet to have their bye, Tasman, Northland and rank-outsiders  Canterbury. 


Meantime in Division One, leaders Southland lost 3 -2 against Manawatu – Wanganui in round five to lose some momentum. The defending champions remain top of Division One but there will be an almighty scrap tomorrow for positions in the playoffs.


Southland, Manawatu / Wanganui, Auckland, Wellington and to a lesser-extent Waikato all have a chance of making the semi-finals.


Bay of Plenty team manager Aaron Walsh was impressed by his team’s round five effort that was sealed by wins from Peter Lee, Sam Davis and Victor Janin.


“It was a good performance this morning,” said Walsh.


“We thought it would be a good match with the Otago boys being at home but we were pretty clinical and got the points on the board which was pleasing.


“Peter Lee and Sam Davis right in the middle of the team are both undefeated. They are the backbone of our team and those guys have been fantastic.”


Davis is enjoying his golf and said the start of players three, four and five is all-important to the team’s chances.


“The team has just got to play solid. It is great when Pete, Victor and I get off to a hot start it takes the pressure off the rest of the team, because they are tough matches and can go either way. So the momentum from the early matches is really important.


“I just seem to play really good at the start and then hold on. It seems to be working. I am putting really well so it’s good fun. “


The Bay has an incredible record in the event and every time a high profile player like Josh Geary or Danny Lee drops out others are there to carry on their proud legacy.


Walsh added: The past success of the other teams sets a culture where people want to be part of this team and win the interprovincials. It just naturally lends itself to guys wanting to play for the Bay and then be successful when they do.


Davis rates this team’s chances and he believes they have quality throughout.


“It feels like Victor has always been there. He has a big heart. He was three down after three today but he went onto win the next four holes. That shows he doesn’t give up and Peter Lee – well you never have to worry about Peter – you know that he is always going to pull through. “


The Bay is keen to learn from their experience in 2011 when they made the final only to be beaten by Southland by 4 -1.


“I think that we learned from last year that momentum [heading into the playoffs] is everything,” said Walsh.


“So tomorrow we want to keep winning and preparing well and see where we place come the weekend.


Davis added: “The plan will be the same again – the middle order will try to get off to a hot start to put the pressure on and try to hold on by playing solid golf.”


Once again the Toro Men’s Interprovincial is heading for a tense finish. The Bay of Plenty shape as the team to beat but there is a long way to go to decide the 2012 champion. 






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