Betts makes his im­pact

Kapi-Mana News - - MOTORING -

Whitby golfer James Betts played his part in Welling­ton’s vic­tory in the na­tional in­ter­provin­cial golf tour­na­ment.

Welling­ton de­feated North Har­bour 4-1 in the fi­nal at Para­pa­raumu Beach on De­cem­ber 11.

It is the first time the re­gion has won the ti­tle since 2001.

Betts won some close matches late in the pool phase and in his semi­fi­nal against Otago.

He had an up-and-down tour­na­ment in the No 5 spot, but said he was ‘‘over the moon’’ about tak­ing the ti­tle, and pleased to make an im­pact on the tour­na­ment af­ter a nervy start.

‘‘I think we were all pretty ner­vous at the start of the fi­nal, but we all had the be­lief that if we kept do­ing what we were do­ing that we would do well.’’

Betts played a crunch match on De­cem­ber 10, when the teams were drawn two games each and, with two holes to play, he and South­land’s Matt Tautari were locked up.

A tie would have left Welling­ton with an up­hill bat­tle to make the semi­fi­nals, but Betts stood up, scor­ing a birdie on the sec­ond-to-last hole, be­fore nail­ing a oneme­tre birdie putt at the last to win the match one-up.

‘‘I had to win that match be­cause oth­er­wise we could have been out.’’ Welling­ton went on to de­stroy Can­ter­bury 5-0 in the sec­ond game, se­cur­ing top spot in the pool, and set­ting up a semi­fi­nal with Otago.

Betts won again in the semi, two-up over Tyrone Ratahi, be­fore an­other tight bat­tle in the fi­nal against North Har­bour.

He and Cardno were tied head­ing into the fi­nal hole. When Cardno hit his drive into a bunker the game swayed in Welling­ton’s favour, but then he played one of the shots of the tour­na­ment to all but se­cure the win.

‘‘It is one of the best shots I have ever seen,’’ said Betts.

‘‘He played it from the bunker about 170 me­tres out, and landed it about one me­tre from the pin.’’

Cardno drained his ea­gle putt to win the match, leav­ing Betts with a ner­vous wait to see how other re­sults went, but the rest of the Welling­ton team won their matches.

Welling­ton’s Tom Brock­elsby was named player of the tour­na­ment.

Photo: DO­MIN­ION POST

Lo­cal boy: James Betts tees off against North Har­bour’s Tom Cardno.

Photo: DAVE LIN­TOTT

Cham­pi­ons: The Welling­ton team, from left, Tom Brock­elsby, Peter Spear­man-Burn, Ben Camp­bell, Adam Church, Carl Tu­pan­gaia and Whitby’s James Betts cel­e­brate.

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