Day in the sun for PBEC

Scenes of jubilation around ninth green at New Plymouth’s Ngamotu course as PBEC defeat Hawke’s Bay.

Scenes of jubilation around ninth green at New Plymouth’s Ngamotu course as PBEC defeat Hawke’s Bay.

POVERTY Bay-East Coast manager Dave Keown woke up yesterday morning, looked out on a beautiful Taranaki morning and later told his team: “This is our day in the sun”.

About six-and-a-half hours later, there were scenes of jubilation around the ninth green at New Plymouth’s Ngamotu course as PBEC defeated Hawke’s Bay 3-2 in sensational style at the national interprovincial golf tournament.

“It was unbelievable,” Keown said after PBEC No.1 Nathaniel Cassidy chipped in for birdie on the par-3 ninth hole (the last for PBEC as they teed off on 10) to seal one of the province’s most famous victories – not so much in that they beat a far bigger golfing district, but in the way they achieved it.

Tokoroa/Tolaga Bay member Cassidy’s 1-up win against Russell Mitchell was added to victories to No.2 Peter Kerekere, who also made birdie on the last to win, and No.4 Andrew Higham, who threw an aviary at his opponent in a 6 and 4 towelling.

The team success moved PBEC off the bottom of their group. They leapfrogged Aorangi, their opponents this afternoon in their final encounter of the week-long matchplay tournament featuring the country’s 15 golfing provinces.

Keown said the Hawke’s Bay scalp was testament to the “fighting spirit” the team had shown all week.

They went into the Round 5 clash on the back of four losses that on paper did not reflect how competitive they had been.

“They have played that way all week but some of what we’ve come up against has been quite incredible,” Keown said.

“It’s been a learning curve of not giving a hole back or away . . . you have to fight, fight, fight and keep battling because you never know what might happen.

“The boys have fought and played some fantastic golf.”

“Fantastic” summed up Higham’s performance yesterday to put PBEC 1-0 up.

“Andy was on fire,” Keown said.

“He was 4-under for the last seven holes. It was just one of those take-no-prisoners days.”

Higham put his approach on the 13th (the fourth hole) to a couple of inches for birdie, then to three feet on the 14th for another birdie and victory over Carlos Tawera.

Hawke’s Bay squared the ledger when No.5 Tini Hawea, playing in his first national interprovincial, lost 4 and 3 to Maddison Noakes.

Meanwhile, PBEC No.3 William Brown was in a titanic duel with Tyson Tawera — a match Keown said was decided by “just one bit of bad luck” on the 17th.

Brown clipped a tree with what Keown said would have been a superb shot and ended up losing the hole to go 1-down, a par on the last not enough.

Kerekere was 1-down with four holes to play against Wairoa’s Dallas Williams. He won the 16th to square the match, halved the 17th, then put a 7-iron to four feet on the 18th and sank the birdie putt for the win.

That made it 2-2, with Cassidy remaining. He had been 2-up with six to play, only for Mitchell to make birdies on the 14th and 15th to square the match.

Keown said Cassidy sank clutch par putts on the 16th (from eight feet) and 17th (four feet) for halves but missed the green with his tee shot on the 18th.

“It (his ball) wasn’t sitting too pretty and his mate (Mitchell) was on the front edge. He had to pitch. He lofted it up, the landed eight to 10 feet short, bounced, bounced, bobbled, bobbled and dropped in the hole.

“The boys went through the roof” . . . then watched as Mitchell’s birdie effort just missed.

“It was an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved. Those last three matches were incredible.”

Keown said that after some awful weather over the week, yesterday’s brilliant conditions suited them.

“The sun shone this morning. It was a beautiful day. I told the boys ‘this is our day in the sun; this is what we’re used to’.

“And today was just reward for all their hard work.”

POVERTY Bay-East Coast manager Dave Keown woke up yesterday morning, looked out on a beautiful Taranaki morning and later told his team: “This is our day in the sun”.

About six-and-a-half hours later, there were scenes of jubilation around the ninth green at New Plymouth’s Ngamotu course as PBEC defeated Hawke’s Bay 3-2 in sensational style at the national interprovincial golf tournament.

“It was unbelievable,” Keown said after PBEC No.1 Nathaniel Cassidy chipped in for birdie on the par-3 ninth hole (the last for PBEC as they teed off on 10) to seal one of the province’s most famous victories – not so much in that they beat a far bigger golfing district, but in the way they achieved it.

Tokoroa/Tolaga Bay member Cassidy’s 1-up win against Russell Mitchell was added to victories to No.2 Peter Kerekere, who also made birdie on the last to win, and No.4 Andrew Higham, who threw an aviary at his opponent in a 6 and 4 towelling.

The team success moved PBEC off the bottom of their group. They leapfrogged Aorangi, their opponents this afternoon in their final encounter of the week-long matchplay tournament featuring the country’s 15 golfing provinces.

Keown said the Hawke’s Bay scalp was testament to the “fighting spirit” the team had shown all week.

They went into the Round 5 clash on the back of four losses that on paper did not reflect how competitive they had been.

“They have played that way all week but some of what we’ve come up against has been quite incredible,” Keown said.

“It’s been a learning curve of not giving a hole back or away . . . you have to fight, fight, fight and keep battling because you never know what might happen.

“The boys have fought and played some fantastic golf.”

“Fantastic” summed up Higham’s performance yesterday to put PBEC 1-0 up.

“Andy was on fire,” Keown said.

“He was 4-under for the last seven holes. It was just one of those take-no-prisoners days.”

Higham put his approach on the 13th (the fourth hole) to a couple of inches for birdie, then to three feet on the 14th for another birdie and victory over Carlos Tawera.

Hawke’s Bay squared the ledger when No.5 Tini Hawea, playing in his first national interprovincial, lost 4 and 3 to Maddison Noakes.

Meanwhile, PBEC No.3 William Brown was in a titanic duel with Tyson Tawera — a match Keown said was decided by “just one bit of bad luck” on the 17th.

Brown clipped a tree with what Keown said would have been a superb shot and ended up losing the hole to go 1-down, a par on the last not enough.

Kerekere was 1-down with four holes to play against Wairoa’s Dallas Williams. He won the 16th to square the match, halved the 17th, then put a 7-iron to four feet on the 18th and sank the birdie putt for the win.

That made it 2-2, with Cassidy remaining. He had been 2-up with six to play, only for Mitchell to make birdies on the 14th and 15th to square the match.

Keown said Cassidy sank clutch par putts on the 16th (from eight feet) and 17th (four feet) for halves but missed the green with his tee shot on the 18th.

“It (his ball) wasn’t sitting too pretty and his mate (Mitchell) was on the front edge. He had to pitch. He lofted it up, the landed eight to 10 feet short, bounced, bounced, bobbled, bobbled and dropped in the hole.

“The boys went through the roof” . . . then watched as Mitchell’s birdie effort just missed.

“It was an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved. Those last three matches were incredible.”

Keown said that after some awful weather over the week, yesterday’s brilliant conditions suited them.

“The sun shone this morning. It was a beautiful day. I told the boys ‘this is our day in the sun; this is what we’re used to’.

“And today was just reward for all their hard work.”

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