Otago has the chance of defending its provincial title after beating Island Park 4-2 to win the final of the metropolitan men’s senior A pennant series on the Taieri Lakes course on Saturday.
The team was dominant throughout the series with nine wins, and a half with Chisholm Links, and so was a worthy champion for 2019.
But it all came down to a winner-takes-all final and the Island Park players proved to be formidable opponents, taking on the Balmacewen team until the final putts dropped.
At the turn, Otago led in two games and Island Park in one, while the top three games were all tied up.
The Otago tail set the scene for Otago’s win with left-handed Ben Patston the first to finish, beating Mike Wray on the 14th green.
Playing partner No6 Callum Judkins was the next to win, making it 2-0 to Otago when he beat the Park captain Michael Minty by 3 and 2.
In the battle of the No 4 players Chris Snow posted Park’s first win, beating Dylan Stock on the penultimate green.
But Otago No1 Nick Borren gave Otago its third win and the contest went Otago’s way when No2 Brandon Hodgson and No4 Duncan Croudis both halved their games.
Both Smith and Croudis birdied the par-5 18th hole to halve their match and give Otago 4.5 games to win the title.
Otago No2 Hodgson put the icing on the cake when he finished tied with former North Otago golfer Phil Bungard.
Island Park failed in its quest to become the first team from a nine-hole course to take the coveted title.
A combined Port Chalmers-Otakou team came close three decades ago but throughout the year’s series, Island Park showed a Senior A pennant win may only be a matter of time.
Results & Points Table published here: