Otago Daily Times

Tau­tiri takes ti­tle af­ter re­mark­able come­back

GOLF

- JEFF CHESHIRE Sports · Golf · Invercargill · Shelley Duncan

MATT Tau­tiri faced an im­pos­ing task as the Otago Match­play Cham­pi­onships wound down.

The In­ver­cargill player went into the last two holes 2­down in yes­ter­day's fi­nal.

But he pulled off a re­mark­able come­back to deny Otago's Cal­lum Jud­kins at the Otago Golf Club.

Tau­tiri birdied the 17th and 18th to force a 19th hole.

He com­pleted his late surge with a third con­sec­u­tive birdie to claim the ti­tle 1­up.

It had been even most of the way be­fore that.

Af­ter be­ing tied at the 12th hole, Jud­kins went 2­up, forc­ing Tau­tiri to dig deep for the win.

That good form had been on show ear­lier in the day as well.

Af­ter rain caused a lengthy de­lay to the morn­ing's semi­fi­nals, Tau­tiri put on a classy dis­play.

He beat Ryan Bel­lamy 5 and 4 in a dom­i­nant per­for­mance.

Three birdies in the first four holes put Tau­tiri 3­up early.

He held that lead through to the 12th, when a hole in one on the par­three ex­tended that lead to 4­up.

A par fol­lowed on the 13th, be­fore another birdie on the 14th ended the match.

In the other semi­fi­nal, Jud­kins won a closer match, beat­ing Leith Cam­pion 2 and 1.

In the divi­sion two fi­nal, Dun­can Croudis won a thriller against Ben Pat­ston, 1­up on the 20th.

In divi­sion three Joseph Han­cock beat Joshua Booth 2 and 1.

In the se­nior women's fi­nal, Kathryn Baker beat Tracey Storer 3 and 2.

Otago Golf Club di­rec­tor of golf Shel­ley Dun­can said it had been a good week­end of qual­ity golf.

She added yes­ter­day's rain de­lay meant it might have been the lat­est the tour­na­ment had fin­ished, the play­ers not com­plet­ing their fi­nals un­til af­ter 7pm last night.

 ?? PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN ?? Tee at five . . . Win­ner Matt Tau­tiri un­leashes his drive on the fifth hole dur­ing the fi­nal of the Otago Match­play Cham­pi­onships at Bal­macewen yes­ter­day.
PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN Tee at five . . . Win­ner Matt Tau­tiri un­leashes his drive on the fifth hole dur­ing the fi­nal of the Otago Match­play Cham­pi­onships at Bal­macewen yes­ter­day.

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