In the quest to defend the Junior Interprovincial title it won last year, Otago started with a half and a win on the first day of play on the Cambridge course yesterday.
In the morning, Otago came from behind to snatch a half against pre-tournament favourite North Harbour while the team beat Eastland 7-1 in the afternoon.
The top Otago pair of Inia Logan and Jakob Bleach led the way, winning 4 and 2 and 4 and 3 respectively.
Logan chalked up a win over Jake Meenhorst who won the North Island championship last week.
No4 Jack Turner and No5 Jonny Mackay both had wins but Turner’s result required some mature play on the final hole.
Turner was three up on James Hydes who won the 15th and stiffed his teeshot at the par-3 17th to give Turner a lead of one playing the final hole.
Turner’s approach went above the hole and it looked like a certain three-putt until he holed a 3m putt for a par and the win.
In the morning, the Otago tail of three under-16 golfers struggled, losing all three matches to give North Harbour the half.
However, in the afternoon all three of them had wins. Daniel Arnesen won by default as his opponent was trapped in bush after a hunting trip due to flooded rivers.
Liam Judkins won with seven holes to spare while Joseph Hancock grafted out a 3 and 2 win over Regan Hindmarsh.
Mackay and Turner notched their second wins but the top pair struggled, Bleach going down to Tini Hawera on the 16th green.
Logan’s match against Eastland No1 Keanau Howe went the full distance with three of Logan’s putts lipping out to prolong the agony.
He finished strongly to halve the final hole and win the match.
Otago faces a strong Bay of Plenty team this morning which will be buoyed by impressive wins over Eastland and Canterbury yesterday.
Winning this match will be crucial if Otago is to have any chance of winning the event.