The Masterton Duncan Cup winning team: Back row – Pim Borren, Owen Lloyd, Jeff Tuoro, Phill Tuoro, Kerry Mountcastle [captain], Gavin Harris, Troy Shaw, Sam Forrester, Joel Macklin [coach/manager], Brett Gould [team sponsor]; Front row – Brent Mackenzie, Dean Gray, Simon Dew and Toby Tuoro. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED
Masterton are the Wellington Interclub Golf champions.
For the first time in the 73-year history of the Duncan Cup – regarded by many as New Zealand’s toughest interclub competition to win – Masterton’s name will be engraved on the famous trophy after their 10-5 victory over Judgeford at Royal Wellington on Saturday.
Masterton player-coach Joel Macklin had targeted the morning’s foursomes, in which players play alternate shots, as being the most important aspect of the match-play final.
Masterton went on to dominate the morning session 4-1. That left the team only needing to win four of the afternoon’s 10 singles matches to secure the championship.
When Brent Mackenzie halved his match with Craig Wilkins on the 18th hole, the victory was guaranteed.
The finish was a comedy of errors for Mackenzie, who needed the half for overall victory, and Wilkins, who needed to win to keep the tie alive.
Both stumbled with nervous three putts, and it was Mackenzie celebrating.
However, it was the foursomes that gave Masterton the important early momentum.
Jeff Tuoro and Owen Lloyd set the scene early with a commanding 6 and 5 victory over Trey Shedlock and Craig Wilkins.
Masterton’s number one pairing of New Zealand Eisenhower Trophy representative Kerry Mountcastle and Sam Forrester won their clash with Jayden Ford and Zane Wilkins 3 and 2.
Mackenzie and Simon Dew had a 2 and 1 win over Benjamin Duflou and Joe Cuthers, while brothers Phillip and Toby Tuoro edged Joshua Cumpstone and Corey Clark 1 up.
Dean Gray and Troy Shaw suffered the only loss going down 4 and 3 to Adam Church and Brent Walton.
Jeff Tuoro continued his stunning form from the morning in the singles thrashing Cumpstone 6 and 5, and when Shaw beat Zane Wilkie 4 and 3 Masterton had one hand on the trophy.
Toby Tuoro’s 1 up victory over Cuthers and Phillip Tuoro’s halved match with Clark, left it for Mackenzie to seal a momentous victory.
Lloyd won his match with Shedlock 1 up and Mountcastle defeated Ford 2 and 1 to put the icing on the cake.
Macklin said although Masterton were dominant in the end, it was a lot tighter than the score would indicate.
“The four points we got in the foursomes put us in pole position for the afternoon, and then Jeff Tuoro winning so easy [6 and 5] and a couple of squared matches were enough to get us the win.”
The history-making occasion wasn’t lost on the other club members. Macklin said 40 or more were at Royal Wellington throughout the day.
“Club members of all different ages, including stalwarts Graeme Jones and Dermot Fitzgerald, who were there all day, came down to watch; they wanted to see if we could make club history.
“Then when we got back to the clubrooms there were about 20 club members waiting to share a drink with us.”
While Masterton can bask in championship glory, Judgeford can look back on their season with some satisfaction. Like Masterton it was the first time they had made the final of the Duncan Cup, but they also achieved a first by winning the Otaki Cup for the team with most points after the round robin.