North Harbour, Waikato, Auckland and Hawkes Bay have qualified for the semi-finals of the 2017 Men’s Toro Interprovincial at the Mangawhai Golf Club.

After an eventful day where who would be the eventual semi-finalist wasn’t clear until the close of play, there will be a new Toro Interpovincial champion team with defending champion’s Wellington ousted.

Auckland v Hawkes Bay
North Harbour v Waikato

It would have been hard to predict these semi-finalists at the start of the week, however all four deserve their place with North Harbour, who have a perfect record, leading the way.

Led by New Zealand Stroke Play Champion Mark Hutson, North Harbour will go into tomorrow as the bookies favourite after winning all their matches to date.

They were clinical this afternoon dispatching Otago impressively. Their victory over Otago meant that Hawkes Bay would join them as semi-finalists from their pool.

Hawkes Bay have been the Cinderella story all week coming from finishing 14th last year to now have a chance to win for the first time since 1969.

The team from the Bay would have experienced a nervous afternoon as they had the bye with their fate in the hands of Canterbury and Otago. Otago lost to North Harbour and Canterbury couldn’t muster the required five points they needed against Southland to see Hawkes Bay through. Canterbury came close with three wins and two halves, however they ultimately finished agonisingly short.

Auckland will head into Saturdays semi-final without a loss to their name. With a halve to Waikato this morning following an earlier halve to Aorangi in round one, a loss this afternoon to Manawatu-Wanganui would have given defending champs Wellington and local hopes Northland a slim chance of making the semis.

Through nine holes the boys from the city of sails were down, however as they have all week they rallied over the closing stretch to punch their ticket to the finals.

Although Waikato halved with Auckland in the morning round it was enough to give them a stress free afternoon as the half point guaranteed their top-four place.

With the semi-final spot in the bag they let their guard down in the afternoon losing to Wellington which is a result they may regret as they now face top qualifiers North Harbour.

But from tomorrow the form book will be thrown out the window with the teams being tested with the ultimate pressure of sudden death.

Both semi-finals start at 7:30am with Auckland playing Hawkes Bay off the first and North Harbour playing Waikato off the tenth.




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