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Countback has Masterton team crowned victorious in Pro Am

The Eketahuna-Masterton Pro Am winning K Consulting team: Murray Wolland, left, Nooroa Rota, Innes Kennard, and professional Pieter Zwart. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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In a fitting finish to the Eketahuna-Masterton Pro-Am golf tournament, teams from both towns tied for first place when play ended on the weekend.

Masterton’s K Consulting and the Eketahoons each scored 248 points in the three-ball stableford competition.

But K Consulting – Innes Kennard [captain], Murray Wolland, Nooroa Rota and professional Pieter Zwart – took first place on countback thanks to a strong finish on the Masterton Golf Club course, which their players knew well.

The team, which scored 118 points on Saturday at the Eketahuna Golf Club, teed off on Sunday trailing the competition leaders, Eketahoons, by 11 points.

Kennard said that Saturday’s round had provided plenty of obstacles for the team.

“While the Eketahuna course was in good condition, the wind was swirling.

“Obviously, the local team had some knowledge and were able to avoid the obstacles somewhat.”

But back on home ground, K Consulting powered into a tie with the leaders after scoring 130 points with each player performing well on different parts of the course.

“Murray Wolland commented after we’d finished that his play on the fourth and fifth holes were the best he’s ever played them,” Kennard said.

There was a concerted effort for a strong finish through the last five holes – which proved crucial on the countback.

Kennard said the team had been playing the tournament together for the past 12 years.

“It’s an amazing positive weekend and brings two of Wairarapa’s clubs together, both of which are looking really good at the moment.

“It’s a privilege and a pleasure to play with the pros and for a lot of people it’s a highlight of the yearly golfing calendar.”

Masterton’s Town & Country claimed third place with 242 points, also on countback, from the Coasters.

Oscar Cadenhead. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Canterbury’s Oscar Cadenhead won the professionals’ tournament with an aggregate score of 133 [9-under par] – to take the $22,000 first prize.

Cadenhead scored 67 at Eketahuna [par 71] and 66 at Masterton [par 71] to edge Harry Bateman by one shot.

The Sunday $500 shootout was won by Geoff Masters [All Teed Up CTD].

Tournament convener Jack Boettcher praised the sponsors, organising committee and ground staff of each club for another successful tournament.

Perhaps the most committed team in the competition were the Cropping Crusaders who have attended the tournament for the past three years.

The team travel from Ashburton in an annual pilgrimage that player Steve King said was inspired by former All Black great, Sir Brian Lochore.

“Four years ago, I was in a conference in Ashburton and I met up with Sir Brian. During a lunch, we were talking about golf and I said I loved golf.

“He said, ‘Why don’t you come up and play at the Eke-Masterton Pro-Am’. They sent us entry forms and we’ve been here every summer since”

He said the team had become great friends with many of the locals including Masterton pro Ben Campbell and his parents.

“The second year we drew Ben, and I think he enjoyed our company. We met Ben’s parents, became friends, and now Jan, Ben’s mother, caddies for us.

“They all say to us why do you come so far to play a game of golf, but it’s not about that. It’s about coming out to have fun, a weekend away and meeting the people of the area.”

Selected leading scores from the Eketahuna-Masterton Pro Am played on the weekend:

Professionals: 133 – Daden Head, 134 – Harry Bateman, Kieran Muir, 135 – Justin Morris, 136 – Koh Tae.

Leading teams in the stableford competition for amateurs: 248 – K Consulting, Eketahoons [K Consulting won on countback], 242 – Town & Country, The Coasters.

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