Paddon eyes top finish to tough year
Home course not enough for success
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.