Otago Blue will go forward to the provincial pennant finals in October after beating defending champion St Clair Blue 4½ to-1½ at Balmacewen on Saturday.
It was the first senior A pennant match at Balmacewen on a Saturday this year, which was a good omen for the club’s top team which did not lose a single match in the final.
Brandon Hodgson, Tyrone Ratahi and Ben Patston put Otago Blue in the driving seat with good winning margins while Jason Hughes, Michael Smith and Luke Murdoch all snatched halves in tight contests.
No1 Hodgson birdied the eighth and ninth holes to lead Jakob Bleach by two at the halfway stage.
Hodgson did not let Bleach back into the game which finished on the 16th green after he drove to within 4m of the cup to close out the match.
St Clair No2 Chris Snow took an early lead but Otago’s Hughes won eight and nine to turn one ahead.
The match remained tight on the homeward nine until Snow birdied 14 and 16 to take the lead before Hughes chipped close at 17 for a birdie-3 to square the match. The pair halved the final hole.
Otago No3 Tyrone Ratahi got off to a slow start after St Clair’s Ryan Bellamy birdied the first three holes.
However, in a reversal of form, Ratahi came from 3-down to win eight of the next 11 holes to post the largest winning margin of the fixture.
Smith and Jacob Bellamy turned square before Smith won the first two holes of the back nine to take the lead.
Bellamy won 13 and 14 to get back to square before Smith chipped in for a birdie at 17 to be dormie 1-up but he three-putted from the apron on the last hole and the match was halved.
St Clair’s Stephen Hitchcox was two light to Murdoch after 11 holes before he won 14, 15 and 16 to take the lead.
But Hitchcox struck tree trouble on the final hole, gifting Murdoch the win on that hole to finish with a half.
In the battle of the No6s, Greg Johnson birdied the third to take an early lead but he lost his lead when he three-putted.
Patston turned ahead after winning the ninth but this was shortlived when Johnson birdied the par-4 10th hole.
Patston finished strongly winning 11, 13, 14 and 15 to take the honours with three holes to spare.
Scores & Table Published Here: