TORO NZ MEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL: WAIKATO CLAIMS MEMORABLE WIN AT HOME

6/12/2014

From a Waikato point of view you probably couldn’t have written a better script for the final day of the Toro NZ Men’s Interprovincial at the Hamilton Golf Club.

 

The home team made history today by winning the team’s matchplay title for the first time in eight years and they did so in emphatic fashion beating Otago 4 – 1 in the sunny conditions. 

 

Waikato No.3 Denzel Ieremia was one of the star turns of the final before team-mate Luke Toomey delivered the perfect closing act.

The 18-year-old holed a 35 foot (12m) birdie putt on the 17th hole to head down the last 1up. When Otago’s Brent McEwan missed his par putt on 18, Ieremia had won 2up and Waikato had the third win they needed.

Earlier Nick Coxon defeated James Anstiss (4/3) and Sam Vincent beat Nick Borren (4/3) while Mark Brooks recorded Otago’s only win in the final when he defeated Matt Morris (4/3).

Waikato No.1 Toomey finished the tournament off in style when he birdied the par 3 18th in front of a sizeable gallery to defeat Otago’s Duncan Croudis 1up.

The New Zealand rep finished the week with a perfect eight from eight winning record and was awarded the Player of the Tournament. After holing the putt, he walked over to his team-mates who were rapturous in their victory.

“Pure happiness and pride,” said Toomey of the winning moment. “If you cut me open I bleed Black, Red and Yellow. I’m just so proud of this group of guys to be part of this team as well. This is stuff that dreams are made of.”

Toomey said his fist pump when his final putt dropped just came out in the moment. He was honoured to claim the Player of the Tournament honour.

“It was nice to relax and all the emotion poured out of me after a week where it has been pretty tense. To win eight from eight at No.1 where I am playing very good players is obviously a huge honour for me and something I am hugely proud of.”

You couldn’t wipe the smile off Ieremia’s face after he came up with his own moment of magic on 17.

“I have never experienced anything like this in my life,” said the 18-year-old from the Hamilton Golf Club.

“I had been putting well all day and I thought I had a good chance with that one. I think the crowd on the bank willed that one in. It was an awesome putt and an awesome feeling to hear the cheer from the locals.”

Ieremia is looking forward to seeing their team photo up on the wall of the Waikato Golf office as they followed in the footsteps of the likes of Phil Tataurangi and Steven Alker as winners of this event.

“There have been some pretty good names on that trophy, especially from Waikato, so it great to add our name to that list of winners,”

The big-hitting Nick Coxon said it was an awesome feeling and one of his best achievements in golf.

“We haven’t won this thing in a long time and it was good to play well when we needed to,” said the 18-year-old from the Riverside Golf Club.

Coxon said his convincing win over James Anstiss was a result of hitting a lot of fairways and greens and “putting him under a lot of pressure”.

To finish the week as the champions was a surreal feeling.

“We haven’t even come close to winning this in the years that I have been involved so this is unbelievable,” he said.

The Red-Yellow-and-Blacks, who held off Wellington 3 - 2 to make the final, were the dominant side from the get-go, and despite a brief fight-back from Otago, never relinquished the lead.

Otago were valiant in defeat. Their No.1 Duncan Croudis, who was a key player at the top of the order, was proud of his team’s effort.

“We tried our hearts out and that is all you can ask for,” said the 22-year-old from the Otago Golf Club. “The boys were phenomenal all week. It is a bit of a hollow feeling to come up short but the boys are still stoked.”

“Waikato had some good young golfers and with their crowd on their home track they were tough to beat.”

His team-mate McEwan was a standout in the middle of the order. He paid a fitting tribute to Ieremia for the way he played.

“He is a good young player and he has got a big future,” said the 33-year-old.

“He got away from me in the middle when he made four birdies in five holes and then that putt on 17 well you can’t stop things like that happening. It was a great putt and a big moment in the match.”

McEwan said he was “stoked” with his week where he won seven of eight matches.

“It would have been nice to get that last one as well but we can be proud of the way we fought hard this week.”

The team of Luke Toomey, Nick Coxon, Denzel Ieremia, Sam Vincent, Matt Morris and Mark Boe etched their names into the province’s folklore with their ninth win in the team’s match play competition that dates back to 1950.

The Toro NZ Women’s Interprovincial will follow the men’s event from December 9 – 13 at the Riverside Golf Club.

 

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