Where the sea meets the tee
Diners Club Freyberg Masters: Northland stages amazing comeback to claim title
Northland has staged an amazing comeback to claim the Diners Club Freyberg Masters title today at the Waitangi Golf Club.
The hosts, who went into the final round trailing 10-time champions and favourite Auckland by half a team point, were given a huge opportunity when Auckland lost 3 -2 to Waikato in the final round.
The Taniwha made the most of their chance and delivered a clutch 3 - 2 win over Canterbury to win the title for the second time and the first time in 16 years.
“It feels fantastic,” said Northland No.3 Bob Shirley.
“It has been a few years trying to do this. We have a great team who hung in there all week and it couldn’t be better.”
Diners Club Freyberg Masters Results – Waitangi Golf Club, Northland
Auckland 3.5 Hawkes Bay 1.5
James Gardiner lost to Nick Radonich 3/1, Brent Paterson bt Andy Patterson 6/5, Michael Barltrop halved with Hugh Harrison, Gareth Chitty bt Paul Beachen 3/2, Tony Simpson bt Dave Shaw 6/5
Waikato 2.5 Wellington 2.5
Phil Hunter lost to Malcolm Gullery 3/2, Greg Bell bt John Warrington 3/1, Wybo Veldman halved with Frank Borren, Ken Shea lost to Michael Ursin 3/2, Andrew McGiven bt Darin Hiroki 2/1
Northland 3.5 Bay of Plenty 1.5
Saali Herewini bt Blair Murdock 7/6, Peter Bone halved with Justin Rasmussen, Bob Shirley bt Steve Heberley 1up, Scott Wilson bt Jason Madden 1up, Iain Power lost to Bryan Pirani 4/3
Southland 3 Tasman 2
Karl Mariu bt Craig Newman 3/2, Gary Radka bt Blair Bavin 3/2, Blair Sinclair lost to Wayne Robbins 2/1, Glen Sutherland lost to Lyell Marfell 3/2, Paul Adams bt Bill Rooney 1up
Manawatu / Wanganui 2.5 Otago 2.5
Stuart Smith halved with Simon Boland, Martin Field lost to Stephen Hitchcox 2/1, Tony Chettleburgh bt Gary Creedy 1up, Mike Arnott bt Jeremy Morgan 4/3, Rick Harding lost to 5/3 Kyle Geary
Aorangi 3.5 Canterbury 1.5
Jason Leary halved with Andrew Dufton, Simon Wright bt Aaron Forsyth 3/2, Travis Cook bt Jason Girvan 1up, John Smitheran bt Phillip David 2up, Robbie Bell lost to Jason Sincock 2/1
Bye: Taranaki, North Harbour, Poverty Bay East Coast
Taranaki 3 Poverty Bay East Coast 2
Aarun Langton bt Dougal Watts 2/1, Murray Martin bt Simon Jeune 2/1, Dean Baldock lost to John Wyllie 3/1, David Simpson bt Bruce Yates 4/2, Peter Eliason lost to Tene Goldsmith 2/1
Manawatu – Wanganui 3 Tasman 2
Stuart Smith bt Craig Newman 2/1, Martin Field bt Blair Bavin 1up, Tony Chettleburgh bt John Murray 2/1, Mike Arnott lost to 3/1 Wayne Robbins 3/1, Stu Gillespie lost to Lyell Marfell 1up
Southland 2.5 Otago 2.5
Karl Mariu bt Simon Boland 3/2, Gary Radka lost to Stephen Hitchcox 3/2, Blair Sinclair halved with Gary Creedy, Glen Sutherland bt Jeremy Morgan 3/2, Paul Adams bt Kyle Geary 3/2
Bay of Plenty 4 Aorangi 1
Blair Murdock halved with Jason Leary, Justin Rasmussen halved with Simon Wright, Steve Heberley bt Travis Cook 2/1, Jason Madden bt John Smitheran 2/1, Bryan Pirani bt Robbie Bell 2/1
North Harbour 3 Hawkes Bay 2
Rob Simmonds bt Nick Radonich 2/1, Rob Noffke bt Andy Patterson 2up, Stuart Nicholls lost to 3/2 Hugh Harrison, Mark Dawson lost to 3/1 Paul Beachen, Wayne Flintham bt Dave Shaw 3/2
Waikato 3 Auckland 2
Phil Hunter bt James Gardiner 1up, Greg Bell lost to 5/4 Brent Paterson, Wybo Veldman bt Michael Barltrop 1up, Ken Shea bt Gareth Chitty 1up, Andrew McGiven lost to Tony Simpson 2down
Northland 3 Canterbury 2
Saali Herewini bt Andrew Dufton 6/4, Peter Bone halved with Aaron Langton, Bob Shirley bt Jason Girvan 6/5, Scott Wilson halved with Phillip Davis, Iain Power lost to Jason Sincock 6/4
Diners Club Freyberg Masters Final Leaderboard:
7.5 (Team Points) 28 (Individual Points) Northland, 7 25.5 Auckland, 6 24.5 Aorangi, 5.5 25.5 Waikato, 5.5 23 Bay of Plenty, 4.5 21.5 Manawatu – Wanganui, 4 20 North Harbour, 4 19.5 Canterbury, 4 19 Southland, 3.5 22 Wellington, 3.5 18.5 Otago, 3 18 Taranaki, 1.5 15 Hawkes Bay, 0.5 13 Tasman, 0 7 Poverty Bay East Coast
Peter Thornton | New Zealand Golf
Media & PR Manager
Northland claimed two wins early in the match courtesy of Shirley and Saali Herewini and then were desperate to find the third point to claim the title.
“At that stage we knew that Auckland had lost to Waikato so we were just hoping for a half. We could have effectively come third or if they played well we could win the title. A credit to those guys they did a fantastic job to bring us home,” said Shirley.
Northland No.4 Scott Wilson was 2up with three holes to play but lost two holes in a row.
On the final hole, his opponent Canterbury’s Phillip Davis missed a two foot putt which gave them the chance that they needed.
Behind, Northland’s Peter Bone fought back to be square playing the last hole. His approach shot to the par 3 flicked the pin and finished 12 feet behind the hole. He halved the hole with pars and secured a 3 - 2 win to Northland.
The final leaderboard saw Northland on top with 7.5 team points and 28 individual points ahead of Auckland with seven team points and 25.5 individual points. Aorangi were third on 6 team points and 24.5 individual points.
Auckland, who were looking to win the title for the first time in 11 years, were left to rue what might have been.
Waikato won three of their matches against Auckland by 1up to deliver a body blow to their title hopes.
Auckland won’t be alone in the reflecting and wishing it could have gone better.
Aorangi, a strong contender for the title last year, again came up short when they lost against Bay of Plenty 4 – 1 in the final round.
Shirley said this win was a career highlight and made up for coming up short last year at the Coringa Golf Club in Christchurch.
“It highlights once again just how good this format is. Last year it was down to the wire and Bay of Plenty came through and won. This year it was the same situation and any one of three teams could have won the title in the last round. Long may it continue.”
Shirley could not have been more proud of the way the Waitangi Golf Club hosted the annual team’s event for the golfers aged 40 and over.
“When we heard that Northland was going to host this event, this is the course that we wanted because these guys travel a long way and we wanted it to be memorable. The feedback from the guys was that the greens are as good as they have played on for a long time, the views were spectacular and the members here have hosted it so well. Waitangi should be very proud.”
Waitangi Golf Club - The home of the 2014 Freyberg Masters