To­geth­er­ness key for Otaki women’s golf team

The Horowhenua Mail - - FRONT PAGE - ADAM POULOPOULOS

‘‘We've had the same squad for three or four years in a row. Ev­ery­one knows ev­ery­one well.’’

A team of ‘‘com­pet­i­tive fun­sters’’ have brought Welling­ton’s old­est golf tro­phy to Otaki for the first time in 35 years.

The Otaki Golf Club women’s team took out the Mary Al­ward/ Tuakana in­ter­club com­pe­ti­tion with a 7-5 win over Kapiti Golf Club in the fi­nal re­cently.

They fin­ished run­ner-up in the 15-team com­pe­ti­tion last year to Royal Welling­ton.

Cap­tain Kay Wall said the team’s to­geth­er­ness was the foun­da­tion for their vic­tory.

‘‘We’re sort of com­pet­i­tive fun­sters we reckon ... we’ve had the same squad for three or four years in a row. Ev­ery­one knows ev­ery­one well, and no-one feels pres­sured.

‘‘In golf it takes years to build up your con­fi­dence and one shot to lose it ... we’re very com­fort­able in each other’s com­pany.’’

The tour­na­ment was played in sin­gles and four-ball best-ball match­play for­mat.

Otaki played from the front through­out the fi­nal. Their open­ing two pairs both had clean­sweeps to put them up 6-0, mean­ing their fi­nal two pairs needed half a point be­tween them to seal the ti­tle.

The third pair, Au­drey Rigby and Linda Watkins, lost their sin­gles matches, but took their four-ball down to the last hole, a par 5. Rigby, a for­mer women’s foot­ball in­ter­na­tional and Not­ting­ham For­est rep­re­sen­ta­tive, was the only player to reach the green in three shots, and putted out for the cham­pi­onship.

‘‘She said she was more ner­vous in that match than for any other in her life,’’ Wall said.

Otaki, who topped their divi­sion and the en­tire com­pe­ti­tion with six wins from eight roundrobin matches, went straight through to the fi­nal. and were able to watch

from the com­fort of their home course as Ti­tahi Bay and Kapiti, the two other divi­sion win­ners, bat­tled for a fi­nals spot.

‘‘We were very in­ter­ested in that. If Ti­tahi Bay won we wouldn’t have had to give so many shots. They have some low hand­i­cap­pers,’’ Wall said.

The tour­na­ment has been run­ning for 85 years.

The Otaki Golf Club women’s team cel­e­brate vic­tory.

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