Tough day out for many

Features of Day 1 of the Emerre and Hathaway Poverty Bay Open, which teed off yesterday.

Features of Day 1 of the Emerre and Hathaway Poverty Bay Open, which teed off yesterday.

Golf PB Open - Regan Hindmarsh
Golf PB Open - Te Raumati Hawea

A CHAMPION living up to his status, a two-fat-ladies comeback and a masters mission accomplished were features of Day 1 of the Emerre and Hathaway Poverty Bay Open, which teed off yesterday.

Miserable morning conditions, which added to an already-heavy Poverty Bay golf course, made 36 holes of strokeplay a challenge for most and soul-destroying for an unfortunate few of the 80-strong field in the district’s premier men’s golf tournament.

By the end of a day that started with steady rain, defending champion Peter Kerekere had underlined his favouritism by claiming the Scott Plate for top overall qualifier.

But he had to come from behind to do it.

Poverty Bay greenkeeper William Brown set a brilliant pace in the first round with a 2-under 70, including five birdies, only for the birdies to dry up in an afternoon 80.

Kerekere got off to a poor start by his high standards, shooting 5-over 41 in his opening nine holes. As the rain gods called it quits, he turned up the heat of the scoring kind. He charged home with a flawless 2-under 34 for a 3-over 75 and continued the momentum in an afternoon 70, featuring 33 for his first nine holes (the back nine, as he started off 10).

His 1-over 145 total was five shots ahead of Tini Hawea (74, 76) and Brown (70, 80).

Rotorua Boys’ High School student Hawea grabbed the second qualifying spot because his second-round score was lower than Brown’s, and perhaps sent a message to Poverty Bay-East Coast selectors for the upcoming national interprovincial.

Kerekere faced Collin Jeffrey (81, 82) in today’s first round of matchplay. The pair met only last weekend in the senior men’s final of Poverty Bay’s club championships, with Kerekere winning the 36-hole match on the 30th. Jeffrey probably needed to significantly improve this morning to avoid a similar fate over 18 holes.

Those of the greying or already well-established silver brigade took a victory of sorts over the younger set. Eleven of the 16 are over 40, three of them (Simon Jeune, Alex Kirkpatrick, and Bruce Wilson) are over 50, and one of them (Wilson) is over 60.

Wairakei International member Wilson, the 2013 open champion, qualified fourth on 155 (80, 75) while Kirkpatrick made one of the comebacks of the day. The 57-year-old, who won the second 16 last year, recovered from 88 (or two fat ladies as it is commonly known) in the morning with 75 in the afternoon — his round featuring 15 pars and three bogeys, and bettered only by Kerekere.

The top 16 also featured all five members of the Poverty Bay-East Coast team for the upcoming Freyberg masters (over-40s) national interprovincial in Dunedin. It was their aim to get all five in the championship 16 and they achieved that — Anaru Reedy (77, 80) qualifying fifth, Peter Anderson (76, 85) 10th, Jeune (81, 81) 13th, Brent Colbert (85, 78) 15th and Jeffrey 16th.

Seven-time open winner Waka Donnelly (80, 78) improved as the day progressed to qualify eighth.

This morning’s matches included a clash between 1995 champion David Solomann (77, 84) and former first-class cricketer Mark Jefferson (80, 81), who were at Gisborne Boys’ High School together 25 years ago.

Other qualifiers were Tony Akroyd (81, 81), 2014 champion Andrew Higham (79, 79) — one of only three to break 80 in both rounds — and Tolaga Bay’s Bruce Yates (84, 78).

Higham went out in 45 for his second round but turned that disaster around with a second-nine 2-under 34.

At the other end of the leaderboard, there were plenty in recovery mode on the 19th after surviving the mental and physical demands of this qualifying format.

There were 24 rounds over 100 — the worst of those the train wreck who signed for 118 in the afternoon, staggering home with a final nine of 65, including an octuple-bogey 12 on the 14th.

That wasn’t the highest individual hole total. A representative of the main sponsor had 14 on the par-5 12th. Ouch.

Matchplay in five groups started this morning. All finals are tomorrow afternoon.

A CHAMPION living up to his status, a two-fat-ladies comeback and a masters mission accomplished were features of Day 1 of the Emerre and Hathaway Poverty Bay Open, which teed off yesterday.

Miserable morning conditions, which added to an already-heavy Poverty Bay golf course, made 36 holes of strokeplay a challenge for most and soul-destroying for an unfortunate few of the 80-strong field in the district’s premier men’s golf tournament.

By the end of a day that started with steady rain, defending champion Peter Kerekere had underlined his favouritism by claiming the Scott Plate for top overall qualifier.

But he had to come from behind to do it.

Poverty Bay greenkeeper William Brown set a brilliant pace in the first round with a 2-under 70, including five birdies, only for the birdies to dry up in an afternoon 80.

Kerekere got off to a poor start by his high standards, shooting 5-over 41 in his opening nine holes. As the rain gods called it quits, he turned up the heat of the scoring kind. He charged home with a flawless 2-under 34 for a 3-over 75 and continued the momentum in an afternoon 70, featuring 33 for his first nine holes (the back nine, as he started off 10).

His 1-over 145 total was five shots ahead of Tini Hawea (74, 76) and Brown (70, 80).

Rotorua Boys’ High School student Hawea grabbed the second qualifying spot because his second-round score was lower than Brown’s, and perhaps sent a message to Poverty Bay-East Coast selectors for the upcoming national interprovincial.

Kerekere faced Collin Jeffrey (81, 82) in today’s first round of matchplay. The pair met only last weekend in the senior men’s final of Poverty Bay’s club championships, with Kerekere winning the 36-hole match on the 30th. Jeffrey probably needed to significantly improve this morning to avoid a similar fate over 18 holes.

Those of the greying or already well-established silver brigade took a victory of sorts over the younger set. Eleven of the 16 are over 40, three of them (Simon Jeune, Alex Kirkpatrick, and Bruce Wilson) are over 50, and one of them (Wilson) is over 60.

Wairakei International member Wilson, the 2013 open champion, qualified fourth on 155 (80, 75) while Kirkpatrick made one of the comebacks of the day. The 57-year-old, who won the second 16 last year, recovered from 88 (or two fat ladies as it is commonly known) in the morning with 75 in the afternoon — his round featuring 15 pars and three bogeys, and bettered only by Kerekere.

The top 16 also featured all five members of the Poverty Bay-East Coast team for the upcoming Freyberg masters (over-40s) national interprovincial in Dunedin. It was their aim to get all five in the championship 16 and they achieved that — Anaru Reedy (77, 80) qualifying fifth, Peter Anderson (76, 85) 10th, Jeune (81, 81) 13th, Brent Colbert (85, 78) 15th and Jeffrey 16th.

Seven-time open winner Waka Donnelly (80, 78) improved as the day progressed to qualify eighth.

This morning’s matches included a clash between 1995 champion David Solomann (77, 84) and former first-class cricketer Mark Jefferson (80, 81), who were at Gisborne Boys’ High School together 25 years ago.

Other qualifiers were Tony Akroyd (81, 81), 2014 champion Andrew Higham (79, 79) — one of only three to break 80 in both rounds — and Tolaga Bay’s Bruce Yates (84, 78).

Higham went out in 45 for his second round but turned that disaster around with a second-nine 2-under 34.

At the other end of the leaderboard, there were plenty in recovery mode on the 19th after surviving the mental and physical demands of this qualifying format.

There were 24 rounds over 100 — the worst of those the train wreck who signed for 118 in the afternoon, staggering home with a final nine of 65, including an octuple-bogey 12 on the 14th.

That wasn’t the highest individual hole total. A representative of the main sponsor had 14 on the par-5 12th. Ouch.

Matchplay in five groups started this morning. All finals are tomorrow afternoon.

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