After building a solid national interprovincial record over the past decade, the Otago men’s side is now rebuilding and enters a new era tomorrow.
That happens at the Waitikiri Golf Club, in Christchurch, venue for the South Island Interprovincial Tournament.
The Otago women’s side will play its South Island interprovincial tournament at Marlborough Golf Club in Blenheim.
With players moving on or not winning selection, five of the Otago octet are under the age of 22, a far cry from the 2016 interprovincial side which leaned on its experience all the way to the final in which it was beaten by Wellington.
In the penultimate warm-up to the national event at the end of next month, the traditionally dog-legged Waitikiri course looks set to test the course management of the players, particularly landing zones off the tee, similar to that of the national interprovincial championship venue of Hastings Golf Club.
Brandon Hodgson will captain the eight-man Otago side and slot in at No2 while the well performed Inia Logan (Cromwell) is at No1.
The rest of the top six has a Central Otago flavour – Sungwoo Han (Queenstown) Callum Judkins (Otago/Queenstown) and Jonny Mackay (Cromwell) are all looking good for national interprovincial selection.
But hot on their heels in the search for good performances are Benjamin Patston (Otago), Jack Turner (Arrowtown) and the experienced Duncan Croudis (Otago), who make up the eight-man team.
The home side will be tough to roll. Reid Hilton, Kazuma Kobori and Matt McLean fill top-25 spots on the New Zealand order of merit.
Some of the Otago team will have fond winning memories on Canterbury soil.
Otago’s most recent South Island Interprovincial victory was at Russley in 2014 – Hodgson and Croudis are survivors of that side.
But the form following the tournament that year only converted into a seventh at the national tournament, suggesting being crowned South Island champion is only a building block towards the bigger picture.
The women’s side will be made up of eight players from eight clubs.
Wakatipu junior Sumin Kang is at No1 while Roxburgh player Becky Slade and Becs Calder, of Omakau, fly the flag for smaller Central Otago clubs.
South Island interprovincial
Men: Inia Logan (Cromwell), Brandon Hodgson (captain) (Otago), Sungwoo Han (Queenstown), Callum Judkins (Otago), Jonny Mackay (Cromwell), Ben Patston (Otago), Jack Turner (Arrowtown), Duncan Croudis (Otago). Reserve: Hayden Robertson (Taieri Lakes).
Women: Sumin Kang (Wakatipu Jnr), Tracey Storer (Belleknowes), Amy Johns (Arrowtown), Joanna Booker (Millbrook), Brenda Sutherland (Otago), Becky Slade (Roxburgh), Becs Calder (Omakau), Eleanor Newton (Chisholm Links).
– Michael Minty