Northland Win 2017 Women’s Masters

The coveted Russell Grace Cup is Northlands, or at least for the next year, as they have won the 2017 New Zealand Womens Masters in convincing form at the Ngaruawahia Golf Club.

The 26th district championship concluded today with Northland’s win a margin of ten shots over Bay of Plenty. It was a team effort with all five team members part of the historic win which has given the far North the title for the first time. Their best finish leading into this tournament was third place in 1997, and again in 2007 where they finished in 3rd equal place with Auckland.

The 2017 championship was theirs from start to finish, opening their challenge with a solid 100 points, in the first round that gave them a share of the lead with home-town favourites Waikato.

The charge was led by new-master Kylie Jacoby who shot a 38 in her first round. Jacoby’s skill and consistency over the following three rounds, also saw her claim the Canterbury Shield for the best individual performance, by one shot over Auckland’s captain, Lisa Herbert.

However, the main event is the district challenge and it was all smiles for the Northland team, who have been lead and prepared by past Harbour master, Sandy Doherty. “Just stoked’ was the comment!

Jacoby contributed in every round with a personal tally of 137 points, in the gross stableford competition, as did Sam Dangen, who shot 126 points. Alayna Cox, along with Jenny Peters, called in after the first round when the experienced Ann Hathaway withdraw with illness, also added to the team tally with contributions from two-rounds apiece.

Starting the final round 14 shots behind, Bay of Plenty, along with Auckland and Waikato while not conceding defeat at the start of today’s play, were arguably playing for second place, unless the unthinkable Northland melt-down could happen. It did not, and Bay of Plenty eventually won the second-place honours with a strong finish today.

Heather Keefe and Shelley McElroy led the team with solid play in all four rounds. Carol Leary who has previously played for Manawatu Wanganui was steady with two rounds counting. One of the best rounds today however was shot by reserve Judy Cameron (32) who was called in for Gillian Lees, who also withdraw with illness. Bay of Plenty’s combined total of 93 was too good for Auckland who only managed 86 points today.

Auckland’s Herbert must have had her eye on the Canterbury Sheild when starting out today and again had a strong round of 32 points, to be pipped by one shot for the individual honours. However as defending champions, Herbert led her team admirably with her consistent play, with all team members, including regular Sian Kelly, along with new comers Linda Creedy and Karameli Vitale, all contributing to their teams total. Their final round of 86 was two ahead of the home favourites, Waikato who sadly have had to settle for fourth place, yet again.

The score board will reveal that their second round, played yesterday at a delayed time due to fog, was Waikato’s nemesis when they failed to capitilise on their strong start. The talented Jill Morgan along with the inspirational Robyn Pellow, just didn’t hit their very best in the highly competitive format while Julie Gee found some great form after a shaking start, contributing in the final three rounds. Jan Storey made a stunning return to competitive representative golf with an opening round of 32 only to struggle with the tough course in her remaining rounds.

Waikato share fourth placing with Aorangi, who slid back one place after finishing 3rd in the 2016 New Zealand Womens Masters. Past professional Catherine Knight the leading Aorangi player with 131 points, followed by Ginny Bolderston with 123 points. The tournament was tough going for new-comer Wendy Parr, allowing all four rounds of Sharon Bradford’s to count. From a small district that is now administered with the assistance of Canterbury Golf they continue to punch above their weight over larger and arguably, stronger districts.

Having to settle for 6th place was Southland who have dominated this tournament for the last nine years with six wins and three seconds. A slightly new-look team with Helen Baird taking the place of past Southland representative Kerry Mariu. Baird joined two of New Zealand’s strongest senior women players of the last ten years, Robyn Boniface and Robyn Pullar along with regular Southland rep, Fiona Murray.

Still attempting to gain the title are Hawkes Bay / Poverty Bay who have finished in 7th place with 336 points, for the second year running. They head off Taranaki who finished in 8th place with 334 points. Regulars such as Janie Field, Kathy Olsen, Debbie McCallum and Svala Garner were again members of the ‘Bay’ and ‘Naki’ teams respectively.

Statisically one of the most consistent players of the tournament is Vaha Fapiano who again was the star of the North Harbour team who finished in 9th place with 312 points, for the second year running. Fapiano finished with a personal tally of 129 points, the next best Harbour player, Annette Muir with 91 points.

The previous Masters dominators’ Canterbury finished in 10th place, four places better than last year. The top performer was new-comer Kate Turner who had counting cards in all four rounds.

Manawatu Wanganui finished with 306 points, in 11th place, 3-ahead of Wellington with 303 points. The bottom of the score board this year belongs to Tasman in 13th place, on 301 points ahead of Otago with 279 points.

Final Results by player and the teams follow which note a correction to the previous preliminary results and score of Taranaki with an addition error, now corrected.

379 – NORTHLAND 100, 98, 92, 89: K Jacoby 38, 33, 34, 32; S Dangen 33, 34, 30, 29; A Cox 29, 22 (n/c), 28, 22 (n/c); A Hathaway 20 (n/c), 31*, 25 (n/c)*, 28*
*Jenny Peters (Reserve)

369 – BAY OF PLENTY 95, 91, 90, 93: H Keefe 36, 30, 33, 32; S McElroy 31, 30, 32, 29; C Leary 28, 26 (n/c), 25, 26 (n/c); G Lees 28 (n/c), 31, 25 (n/c), 32*
*Judy Cameron

362 – AUCKLAND, 99, 91, 86, 86: L Herbert 37, 34, 33,32; S Kelly 31, 25 (n/c), 30, 27; L Creedy 31, 30, 22 (n/c), 27; K Vitale 28 (n/c), 27, 23, 15 (n/c)

360 – WAIKATO 100, 86, 90, 84: J Morgan 34, 32, 29, 28; R Pellow 34, 22, 31, 31; J Storey 32, 20 (n/c), 26 (n/c), 24 (n/c); J Gee 25 (n/c), 32, 30, 25

360 – AORANGI 91, 92, 85, 92: C Knight 36, 30, 33, 32; G Bolderston 29, 35, 25, 34; S Bradford 26, 27, 27, 26; W Parr 18 (n/c), 21 (n/c), 19 (n/c), 18 (n/c)

355 – SOUTHLAND 91, 90, 87, 87: R Boniface 33, 34, 30, 31; R Pullar 32, 35, 33, 31; F Murray 23 (n/c), 21, 23 (n/c), 25; H Baird 26, 21 (n/c), 24, 19 (n/c)

336 – HAWKES BAY / PB 92, 86, 83,75: J Field 29, 31, 29, 25; K Olsen 34, 29, 29, 26; M Manaena 20 (n/c), 26, 24 (n/c), 18 (n/c); F Ellis 29, 26 (n/c), 25, 24

334 – TARANAKI 80, 88, 81, 85: D McCallum 27, 29, 27, 26; A Braithwaite 27, 28, 32, 27; S Garner 25 (n/c), 26 (n/c), 21 (n/c), 25 (n/c); J McDonald 26, 31, 22, 32

312 – NORTH HARBOUR 78, 78, 73, 83: V Fapiano 29, 30, 36, 34; A Muir 25, 24, 17, 25; L Tate 24, 23 (n/c), 20, 17 (n/c)*; J Gillespie 21 (n/c), 24, 17 (n/c), 24
*Aprile Everitt

308 – CANTERBURY 79, 78, 74,77: K Turner 30, 31, 28, 25; D Kay 25, 20 (n/c) 21, 23 (n/c); C Kemp 24, 22, 25, 24; N Muir 21 (n/c), 25, 16 (n/c), 28

306 – MANAWATU / WANGANUI 84, 75, 70, 77: J Hall 32, 24, 26, 27; J Ritchie 27, 23, 19, 22 (n/c); R Hopper 21 (n/c), 20 (n/c), 18 (n/c), 26; L Cotton 25, 28, 25, 24

303 – WELLINGTON 78, 76, 78, 71: K Orchard 26, 28, 26, 25; C Hawe 24, 26, 28, 23; W Rhodes 28, 22, 24, 23; J Hewett 23 (n/c), 21 (n/c), 22 (n/c), 22 (n/c)

301 – TASMAN 82, 80, 68, 71: S Murray 25, 26, 19 (n/c), 21; T Bary 29, 25, 26, 22; M Reardon 22 (n/c), 29, 20, 28; R White 28, 24 (n/c), 22, 17 (n/c)

279 – OTAGO 74, 72, 69, 64: M Arhanic 25, 25, 25, 17, (n/c); D Dagg 23, 22, 21 (n/c), 25; R Devlin 21 (n/c), 20 (n/c), 22, 18; B Sutherland 26, 25, 22, 21

Filed under: Featured, Womens
2 Apr 2017