The Otago men’s golf team slipped down the leaderboard after losing to Auckland by 1.5 to 3.5 in the third round of the Toro interprovincial teams’ tournament was played on the Clearwater course in Christchurch yesterday.
There was little the Otago quintet could do to rectify the situation, as the team had a bye in the fourth round yesterday afternoon.
”We must now get our game tally up and hope that Auckland will go through unbeaten if we are to make the playoffs,” Otago coach Ben Gallie said.
”Auckland is a very strong team and will be hard to beat and I was pleased with the fight our players showed.”
The match was a very close contest with three of the five games decided on the 18th green.
But two of those went to Auckland, while the third was a half, which tipped the balance in Auckland’s favour.
The Otago players lost the initiative on 14, 15, 16 and 17 but could not be faulted on the way they competed on the final hole.
No1 Inia Logan lipped out with his birdie putt, while his opponent Jared Edwards holed a 4m putt to halve the hole and take the match.
Jack Turner (No4) also suffered the same fate, lipping out for his birdie, which would have given him a half with Kanaal Singh.
Team captain Brandon Hodgson remains unbeaten after three outings with two wins and a half with Auckland’s Johnny Tynan yesterday.
At No2, Callum Judkins trailed Jang Hyun Lee all of the way, eventually going down by 5 and 3 on the 15th green.
Tail-end charlie Scott Hellier had his first win of the week, having opened up a lead of two on the first five holes.
He kept the pressure on and won the penultimate hole to defeat Jimmy Zheng by a 3 and 1 margin.
There is only one round today for all teams and Otago is keen for a clean sweep over lowly placed Hawke’s Bay.
Otago’s final place in division 2 will depend on a South Island derby tomorrow with Southland in the morning and Tasman in the final section game.
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