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Masterton set to defend Duncan Cup

Kerry Mountcastle won his match 2 and 1 in Masterton’s semifinal win over Royal Wellington. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

GOLF

CHRIS COGDALE
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Phil Tuoro sank a 30-foot birdie on the last hole to halve his match and steer defending champions Masterton into their second straight Duncan Cup final.

In the semifinals on Saturday, Masterton led Royal Wellington 3-2 after the morning foursomes at Waikanae, with wins to Owen Lloyd and Troy Shaw [2 and 1], and Kirk Collins and Simon Dew [5 and 4].

The number one pairing of Kerry Mountcastle and Sam Forrester, and the Phil and Toby Tuoro combination had halved their matches.

Wins to Jamie Frew [2 up], Dew [5 and 3], and Collins [5 and 3], and a half to Pim Borren gave Masterton 6.5 points, with six singles matches still on the course.

Masterton manager-coach Joel Macklin said with eight points needed to win, and Masterton one down going down the last hole in a few of the matches, the outcome was in the balance.

Number one Mountcastle won his match over Jonathan Cane 2 and 1 to take Masterton’s score to 7.5 and ensure at least a playoff.

However, the drama was with Phil Tuoro, and the number five was all calmness as he holed the long-range putt to tie his match with Grant Watkins and secure a place in next month’s final.

In a closely fought season, Masterton took the hardest route to the final after finishing third in the Otaki Cup round-robin competition.

That forced the defending champions into a must-win third-fourth clash with last year’s beaten finalists Judgeford.

It took a birdie by Mountcastle on the second extra hole in a sudden-death playoff to set up a semifinal against Royal Wellington.

Macklin said winning the Duncan Cup, the premier trophy in Wellington Interclub Golf, last year helped the team make the final for a second consecutive year and for only the second time in the club’s history.

“I was talking to Kerry about it after the match on Saturday, and I said we just know how to win now,” he said.

“The fact that even though we finished third in the pool play, we knew to win the Duncan Cup we had to win three matches in a row, and it’s not like you lose the first and second playoff, when all of a sudden you have to go into a match after losing, so we went in with momentum.”

Masterton will play top qualifiers Shandon in the final at Paraparaumu on September 5. Shandon won their previous encounter 8-7 in the final round of pool play.

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