Pad­don eyes top fin­ish to tough year

Home course not enough for suc­cess

The Southland Times - - SPORT - STU PID­DING­TON

Home course ad­van­tage didn’t quite play into the hands of the South­land men’s golf team as they con­tested the South Is­land In­ter­provin­cial at SBS Bank In­ver­cargill Golf Club over the week­end.

An eight-strong South­land team de­feated Ao­rangi 7 - and Otago 5-3 but lost to Tas­man 5 - 2 and Can­ter­bury 6-2 for an over­all fourth place.

For South­land Liam Bal­neaves had a good week­end, win­ning three matches and squar­ing his fourth, and Jeremy Hall won three of his four matches. ** Hun­dreds of pri­mary school aged golfers have teed off at the Golf South­land Pri­mary School Zone tour­na­ments re­cently and it has been pleas­ing to not only see high num­bers, but some very good tal­ent com­ing through too.

The Town Zone tour­na­ment was played at SBS Bank In­ver­cargill on Mon­day this week, with 120 chil­dren tak­ing part.

The tour­na­ment was won by Tokanui (Awa­tea Smith, Jorja Cah­ha­han, Noah Strat­ford and Ry­ley MacRae) over run­ners-up James Hargest 1 (Hal­lie Fa­herty, Ro­nan Shear­ing, Blake Humphrey and Neave Row­land) and third placed South­land Boys High 2 (Ali Har­ri­son, Maul Smith, Hunter Cairns and Jon Madoc).

The Western Zone tour­na­ment played at River­ton last week at­tracted 132 chil­dren. The win­ning team was Win­ton 3 (Beth An­der­son, Char­lie Hub­ber, Archie Bryan and Alex Wal­lace), run­ners-up were Otau­tau 2 (Mathew McLel­lan, Dy­lan Wilson, Max Treloar and Brooke Cor­nish-Mad­den) and third place went to Otau­tau 3 (Carli Hold­away, Zac­son Mur­ray, Harry Car­ran and Cody Wat­son).

The South­land-wide fi­nal will be played at Drum­mond on Novem­ber 23. ** The Bow­mont Meats Women’s 4BBB Sta­ble­ford will be played at SBS Bank In­ver­cargill Golf Club on Thurs­day 23rd Novem­ber. Tee off is at 10.30am. Play­ers need to get their en­tries in to Golf South­land by 2pm on Thurs­day 16th Novem­ber; email ad­min@golf­south­land.co.nz, so make sure you’re there to join the fun! ** The Stead Cup is be­ing played at Queens Park this week - daily up­dates will be on the Golf South­land Face­book page for any­one in­ter­ested in fol­low­ing the re­sults. Kiwi Hay­den Pad­don is look­ing to fin­ish a tough sea­son on a pos­i­tive note at Rally Aus­tralia.

The 30-year-old has had a roller­coaster ride in 2017, hav­ing had to re­tire from four of 11 WRC events and is lan­guish­ing in 10th place in the driv­ers’ cham­pi­onship.

Pad­don has man­aged only one podium, with a sec­ond in Poland, fol­lowed by a fifth in Mex­ico. A com­bi­na­tion of me­chan­i­cal grem­lins, driv­ing mis­takes and bad luck have plagued his cam­paign.

He also ap­pears to have slipped down the peck­ing or­der at Hyundai Motorsport with the ar­rival of An­dreas Mikkelsen and was benched for the Span­ish Rally.

The Euro­pean-based Pad­don has said lit­tle of his plans in 2018 but is con­tracted to Hyundai for an­other year.

He and co-driver Seb Mar­shall are hop­ing to draw on the pos­i­tive vibes of Ki­wis in Coffs Har­bour, as well as the 100 sup­port­ers on an ex­clu­sive Pad­don Rally Sport tour.

‘‘It’s the sixth time I’ve con­tested Rally Aus­tralia, but the first time for Seb, so we want to en­joy the whole rally. It’s been such a tough year that we need to use this event to build to­wards 2018.’’

Pad­don said it was as close as he got to home. ‘‘While the roads are quite dif­fer­ent to New Zealand, with the num­ber of Ki­wis that come over, it feels a lit­tle like a rally at home and gen­er­ally makes it feel more re­laxed.’’

Pad­don said if it stayed dry they had a re­ally good road po­si­tion [10th] that they could take ad­van­tage of.

‘‘Early fore­casts are show­ing that we could ex­pect a bit of rain this year. That could throw a curve ball as is not some­thing we nor­mally ex­pect here.’’

Pad­don has fin­ished in the top six in Aus­tralia for the last three years.

Pad­don and Mar­shall will use the preevent shake­down to­mor­row to fine tune the car for the fore­cast con­di­tions, be­fore the rally gets un­der­way on Fri­day morning.

Hay­den Pad­don would love to notch up his sec­ond podium of the year in Aus­tralia.

Liam Bal­neaves

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