Southland win 2015 NZ Womens Masters
2015 New Zealand Women’s Masters
Helensville Golf Club, North Harbour
Saturday 11 April Rd 2 & 3 Report
Image – Robyn Pullar
Pullar Leads Southland To The Front
Robyn Pullar has led her beloved Southland team to a 15-shot lead going into tomorrow’s final round, of the 2015 New Zealand Women’s Masters.
With Southland trailing by 7 shots after the first round, Pullar carded an impressive 3-under par 70, on the par 73 Helensville Golf Course, in her morning round.
Pullar’s round included five birdies with the only blemishes being two bogeys, on the par 4, 5th and par 5, 6th. Her run home in 33 included birdies on the 12th, 14th, 16th, and 17th. With scoring in this annual senior women’s district event, by gross stableford points, this added 39 points to Southland’s team total.
Pullar then backed up her morning round with a solid contribution in the afternoon, a further 31 points.
Sitting on 270 points, Southland have won the Masters, five times, equaling Canterbury and Bay Of Plenty’s haul.
If Southland, Pullar, along with Robyn Boniface, Kerry Mariu and Fiona Murray can win tomorrow, they will be the only district to have won the Russell Grace Cup six times.
Chasing the dominant Southland four, are Waikato, who were the overnight leaders.
Long time Waikato representatives Jill Morgan and Robyn Pellow, joined by Pam Wright and Deb Foster let chances pass by today, especially in the afternoon’s third round. Waikato will go into tomorrows final sitting in 2nd place, on 255 points. They have won the Russell Grace Cup on two occasions, and nothings surer, will be chasing hard tomorrow.
Only one shot back, sit Auckland who had solid rounds of 91 and 83 today to secure their berth in the top four. All four Auckland masters, Lisa Herbert, Brigit Holford, Scarlett Jeon and Sian Kelly, have contributed to the team’s total of 254 over the first three rounds.
Auckland have won the Masters three times, the last being in 2008, and like Waikato will be chasing Southland hard tomorrow.
Bay of Plenty was especially strong in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with five wins, but have not won since 2003. Since then they have had two top 3 finishes, and need to make up 18 points to topple Southland.
Bay or Plenty’s Heather Keefe, playing in her first Masters is currently on target to take out the leading individual trophy, with rounds of 38, 33 and 30. With a total of 101 Keefe leads Pullar by 5 shots.
Keefe had the best round in yesterdays opening round with 38 points, Pullar this morning with 39 points, but the afternoons best round was scored by North Harbour’s Vaha Fapiano, with 33 points.
Host district, North Harbour, while in the top eight, have their work cut out for them to get their hands on the trophy. They have played all five players introducing Lynda Tate, the experienced reserve in this afternoon’s round, who contributed 30 points. North Harbour have 242 teams points, 2 ahead of Northland.
Northland will be delighted with their overnight position of 6th, a distinct improvement over recent years where they have struggled to get above 9th placing. Best results in the Masters 24-year history, has been 3rd place for Northland. They have been bolstered in 2015 by new-comers Samantha Dangen, a 17 year Interprovincial representative and Alayna Cox who has been the teams top performer.
Winners in 2007, Taranaki, on 234 points, along Hawkes Bay / Poverty Bay, with 226 points, round out the top eight.
Looking to improve their 2014 positions will be Otago, currently in 9th place, Wellington in 10th and Aorangi / South Canterbury in 11th. 12th equal position currently are Canterbury and Tasman with Manawatu / Wanganui in 14th place.
The final rounds are scheduled to start from 8.00am tomorrow.
1st 270 - Southland 87, 95, 88
2nd 255 - Waikato 94, 85, 76
3rd 254 - Auckland 80, 91, 83
4th 252 - Bay of Plenty 79, 86, 87
5th 242 - North Harbour 78, 77, 87
6th 240 - Northland 79, 84, 77
7th 234 - Taranaki 81, 73 80
8th 226 - Hawkes Bay / Poverty Bay 72, 80, 74
9th 218 – Otago 80, 71, 67
10th 208 - Wellington 70, 63, 75
11th 205 – Aorangi South Canterbury 63, 65, 77
12th 204 – Tasman 78, 61, 65: Canterbury 75, 62, 67
14th 198 – Manawatu / Wanganui 60, 69, 69
2015 New Zealand Women’s Masters
Helensville Golf Club, North Harbour
Friday 10 April
Waikato Take Early Lead
The very experienced Waikato team, bolstered by the return of Robyn Pellow, have taken a 7 shot lead over defending champions, Southland in the first round of the 2015 New Zealand Women’s Masters.
Winners in 2005, and 2013, they slipped to 4th place in 2014, when Pellow was dropped from the team. Pellow led from the front today with a contributing score of 34 points, where the top three scores from the four-women team count, in four rounds of gross stableford. Waikato’s team points 94.
Fellow team mate Jill Morgan, who won the 2015 NZ Women’s Senior Stroke Play and Match Play Championships in February, scored 30 points as did Pam Wright. The non-counting card, Deb Foster, had 23 points.
Southland, who have dominated the event since 2009, have won the coveted Russell Grace Cup five times in the last six years, and have fielded again the formidable team of Robyn Boniface, Robyn Pullar, Fiona Murray and Kerry Mariu. They are now playing together for the fifth time. The top round today from the Southland team, Mariu with 31 points, followed by Boniface with 30, and Robyn Pullar’s 26. The non-counting card, Murray’s 19. Southland’s team points, 87.
Boniface will also be eyeing up the Canterbury Trophy for the leading individual, as the current holder and an individual winner for a record six times.
Taranaki won the Masters back in 2007, and lie in 3rd place, with 81 points after the first round. Their team is full of district representative players including their traveling reserve Eleanor Hodson who missed out on selection by one shot in their team trials.
The strong Taranaki guard includes Debbie McCallum who led the team with 29 points, followed by Svala Garner playing in her 10th consecutive Masters, scoring 28 points. Trish Stewart carded the first 24 points to give her team the third score, with Chris Wilson’s 24, non-counting.
Auckland and Otago share 4th equal position at this early stage with 80 team points. Auckland is led by former New Zealand representative, Lisa Herbert (nee Aldridge), who contributed to the team total with a steady round of 26 points. Scarlett Jeon scored 27 points despite a 2 shot penalty for playing a wrong ball, as did new-comer to the team, Sian Kelly.
The non-counting score from Brigit Holford, who carded a disappointing 18 points. Holford was the leading individual in 2004 and 2005.
Otago’s Susan Greig had 32 points, with Liz McRae and Tracey Storer having 23 and 25 points respectively. Storer is playing in her first Masters. Dale Dagg carded the non-counting Otago score with 22 points.
The best round of the day went to Heather Keefe who had a two under 71 on the par 73 course, contributing to Bay of Plenty’s team score with 38 points. Keefe’s round included an eagle on the par 5, 4th and another on the par 5, 14th. Keefe is an 9-year district representative for the Bay, but at a top interprovincial level. This is her first Masters, having turned the minimum age of 40.
The Bay will be disappointed with their final score after Shelley McElroy, playing in her 5th Masters, was disqualified for not signing her score card. Her 28 valuable points would have elevated the Bay team to third position after day one.
Bay of Plenty have won the Masters five times in the tournaments 23 history, the last time in 2003. They lie in 6th equal position with 79 points.
Sharing 6th equal place are Northland, now with Samantha Dangen also of age in the team for the first time – a 17 year Interprovincial representative.
Local hopefuls North Harbour finished their round in 6th equal position with Bay of Plenty, fielding a team with two new-comers, Suzette Eastmond and Julie Gillespie. The steady Vaha Fapiano is once again in the team, as is Aprile Everitt. Harbour, have never won the Masters, their best placing in the ‘bridesmaids’ 2nd slot in 1997.
Tasman who finished at the bottom of the 14 district competition in 2014, lie in 8th equal position, with one new player, Donna Mitchell joining Robin White, Kathryn Maloney and Michele Reardon, all experienced Masters players.
Needing to make some ground in rounds two and three, both scheduled to be played tomorrow, are Canterbury, Hawkes Bay / Poverty Bay and Wellington. They currently lie in 10th, 11th and 12th place, with scores of 75, 72 and 70 respectively.
One of the strongest ‘arms’ in the field is Canterbury’s Cheryl Kemp, a previous New Zealand softball pitcher, who has been recognised in the International Softball Hall of Fame.
In 13th place are Aorangi South Canterbury, with 63 points.
One of the oldest Masters, Jenny Ritchie playing in her 14th Masters, is sporting her hole-in-one achievements, tattooed on her shin – 11 times! Ritchie is in the Manawatu / Wanganui team that lie at the bottom of the table, 34 shots off the pace, on 60 team points.
The second round is scheduled to commence tomorrow from 7.30am with round three, teeing off at 12.30pm at the Helensville Golf Club. Helensville have never hosted a national event, but have presented a tight course with multiple water hazards and very small greens that have tested the players.
The fourth and final round will tee off on Sunday, 12 April from 8.00am.
1st: 94 - Waikato
2nd: 87 – Southland
3rd: 81 - Taranaki
4th: 80 – Auckland, Otago
6th: 79 – Bay of Plenty, Northland
8th: 78 – North Harbour, Tasman
10th: 75 – Canterbury
11th: 72 – Hawkes Bay / Poverty Bay
12th: 70 – Wellington
13th: 63 – Aorangi South Canterbury
14th: 60 – Manawatu / Wanganui
For more information please contact
NZ Golf Tournament Director
Phone 0275 662 385