TORO NZ WOMEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL: SEMIFINALISTS FOUND AT MURIWAI

13/12/2013

The four semifinalists for the Toro NZ Women’s Interprovincial have been found after a tense final day at the Muriwai Golf Club in West Auckland.

 

Auckland and North Harbour qualified from Division One while Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay – Poverty Bay were the teams to advance from Division Two in the hot and fine conditions.

The team from the Hawkes Bay – Poverty Bay was the talking point when it delivered a clutch 3 - 2 win over Manawatu – Wanganui in the final round.

That result meant the Black and Whites finished second in the closely contested group ahead of Wellington and Manawatu –Wanganui to book their place in the semifinal for the first time in many years.

Hawkes Bay No.2 Jaime McIvor was the heroine when she halved with her counterpart Emma Clayton to secure the win.

McIvor was all square walking down the last and two-putted from 7m to secure Hawkes Bay's place in the final four.

“I was feeling good coming down the last few holes,” she said. “I was hitting the ball really well on the closing nine so I was confident. I didn’t know the situation, not until I had to do my putt that it is when I realised what was at stake. I was pretty happy to see the putt hit the hole and stop dead because I have been putting pretty badly so to get the half and the win for the team was awesome. We are looking forward to semis.”

Hawkes Bay – Poverty Bay, who is looking to win the title for the first time since 1970, will have its work cut out when it has the unenviable task of trying to stop the Auckland juggernaut.

The Blue and Whites completed its rout of Division One with a 4 - 1 drubbing of Waikato in the final round.

The defending champions, who are looking to win the title for the third year in a row, completed the seven rounds of match play with six team points and 27 from a possible 30 individual points.

Brittney Dryland, who was the player of the tournament in 2012, and again has a perfect six from six record this week, said the Auckland team has a special winning culture.

“It is pretty cool to be part of this team,” said Dryland.

“We all get on really well, we have a lot of fun both on and off the golf course together and I think that shows.”

Such is their dominance, the No.5 Dryland didn’t know who she would face tomorrow in Hawkes Bay – Poverty Bay but she didn’t really care who it was.

“We’ll just go to the first tee and see how it goes. I am playing pretty good, just really steady golf, and I will just try and stay calm on the final day and enjoy it.”

Meanwhile hosts North Harbour continued to enjoy themselves.

The 2010 Champions booked their place in the final four when they halved with Southland which was enough to qualify when Northland defeated Canterbury 3 - 2.

The four time winners fancied their chances of ending Bay of Plenty’s unbeaten run in the semifinal.

North Harbour No.1 Lita Guo, who has gone undefeated this week at Muriwai, had to halve her match with Southland No.1 Robyn Puller to secure their place.

“We are stoked to be in the semifinals and we are one step closer to winning the title at home which is the goal for this week,” said Guo (17) from the North Shore Golf Club.

“We are really enjoying our time together as a team and we are looking forward to the local support and the challenge tomorrow. Bay of Plenty is undefeated this week but we are going well as a team and we think that we have a great chance of making the final. But it is the same old story, we’ll take it one match at a time, one hole at a time and hopefully we get there.”

Bay of Plenty, the second most successful team in the event’s history, halved its round seven match with Wellington to secure top place in Division Two.

The Blue and Golds, who last won the title in 2007, have enjoyed a successful week flying beneath the radar.

Bay of Plenty manager Emma Kunac said it was a great thrill to have another crack at the title.

“It is fantastic to make the semifinals, we are really excited,” she said.

“North Harbour are every strong opposition, especially as the home team. We know that they will have a lot of support and we’ll be up for a fight that is for sure.”

Kunac said her team loves the Muriwai Golf Club and feels in good space to add to their 17 titles at the Toro tournament.

“The girls have been really steady. They are not fazed by the pressure and this course really suits them. We have some big hitters in our side and this course really suits them. We have flown beneath the radar but that is just the way we like it.”

Bay of Plenty knows they have a tough battle against North Harbour but also in the back of their minds is the prospect of upsetting probable finalist Auckland.

“Absolutely we would love to take them on. We are up for the challenge.”

 

 

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