Otago will be competing in the Toro Men’s Interprovincial later this month with a new-look team, with only Brandon Hodgson (Otago) a regular team member in recent years.
Hodgson will play at No3 and captain the quintet, while Cromwell’s Inia Logan is the only other player to have represented Otago in this event in recent years.
Logan is the bolter in this team and will play at No1 after the selectors viewed his form in Australia as well as at the New Zealand amateur championships last week.
He played at No3 two years ago and was selected at No4 last year before having to withdraw with a chest infection.
At the national championship, he had to graft during his rounds to obtain a good qualifying berth, before beating Canterbury No 2 Reid Hilton in the first round.
He lost his next match to Jake Lee on the final green in a contest which provided a barrage of birdies from both players.
The only other newcomer is No5 Scott Hellier, who filled the top spot for Southland last year.
He has joined the small South Otago Clinton Club and made himself available for Otago, and will be a formidable opponent for the tail-enders from the other provinces.
Despite playing all of his golf in Southland, Hellier becomes the second golfer to represent Otago from Clinton, the first being Geoff Clarke who went on to represent New Zealand in 1967.
The remaining two places are filled by 18-year-olds – Callum Judkins and Jack Turner from Queenstown.
Judkins will play at No2 after winning the inaugural North Otago matchplay title, fighting back from four down after the first five holes.
Turner will be at No4 after winning the Otago matchplay title at Balmacewen during Labour Weekend with some scintillating sub-par golf in the final.
The casualty of this year’s selection is Duncan Croudis (Otago) who has been named as the team reserve.
Croudis was the Otago No1 three years ago in the Toro on the Otatara course in Invercargill, but emerged with only one win in the South Island event at Methven two weeks ago.
His lack of form is likely to be temporary and should he be called upon to play at Clearwater, he should acquit himself well.
The team in playing order;
- Inia Logan Cromwell
- Callum Judkins Wakatipu Junior
- Brandon Hodgson Otago (Captain)
- Jack Turner Wakatipu Junior
- Scott Hellier Clinton
Reserve. Duncan Croudis Otago