2021 NZ Womens Masters @ Northland GC Final
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PRESS RELEASE (Corrected)
Report 2021 Golf New Zealand Women’s Masters
Northland Golf Club 9 – 11 April
Bay of Plenty / Thames Valley Back In the Winners Circle
Despite a weather affected tournament, the Bay of Plenty / Thames Valley Masters team have clocked up another win, in the 28th Women’s Masters.
The win yesterday was the Bay’s 6th, their last being in 2003 at Te Awamutu. Their 1997 win was also played at the tough, challenging Northland Golf Course, host this year.
The Bay team led by Heather Keefe was in control from the first round, played in good conditions on Friday 9 April.
Keefe contributed 28 gross stableford points, and with Diana Syer’s 34 and Nikki Kirsopp’s 30 they had 92 points after day one. Judy Cameron the non-scorer with 21 points.
Local favorites Northland were placed 8 shots behind. Jenny Peters and Samantha Dangen both scoring 25 points, with the captain, Kylie Jacoby top with 34. Alayna Cox the non-counting card, 24.
Auckland were placed 3rd overnight with 83 points and North Harbour with 82, 4th. Back one further shot were Waikato on 81.
So, 8 shots to chase which in the end proved too tough to catch as play was affected on Saturday and abandoned mid-morning. Saturday is the day that the teams get to tough it out over 36 holes allowing typically the greatest movement possible, as has been the history of the tournament.
Not this year. Over 75mm of rain fell in a horrendous day in the far north and despite an early start, organisers were forced to call it quits when the course became unplayable, unsafe and water-logged.
The tournament became a 36-hole challenge, and only the 2nd time in its 28-year history that play jeopardized the 72-hole format.
The Bay held on, in a brilliant steamy sunny Sunday adding 80 points to their first round, and a total of 172.
“Not the way we envisaged winning’ said Captain Keefe “but we’ll take it’.
Final counting cards for the Bay on Sunday were Keefe 25 and Cameron with 26, Kirsopp the non-counter, 23.
NZ Tasman team representative Diana Syer carded a 29, a total of 63 individual points, winning the Canterbury Shield for the top placed individual.
Local hopes were of course on Northland but sadly they came up 6 shots short. Winners in 2017, the last 4 years they have been well placed and finished 3rd in 2019. The tournament was not played in 2020, cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Waikato will be well placed with their round yesterday, finishing 3rd with 162 points. The team included regulars Jill Morgan, Robyn Pellow, Sian Stevenson and Julie Gee. The 2021 placing was one better than 2019, where they finished 4th.
The defending champions Canterbury, Naomi Wallace and Jo Kent joined by newbies Rachel Eder and Sally Rossiter couldn’t replicate their 2019 winning ways finished 4th with 160 points.
Both North Harbour and Auckland will be disappointed slipping back from their Friday placing to be 5th and 7th respectfully at the end of the tournament. Harbour improved on their 2019 placing but out of the medal mix for 2021.
Harbour led again by Vaha Fapiano had a new look team with Carolyn Cressey, Rebecca Barrow and Sala Bishop now joining this typically competitive group. Auckland missing long time district representative Brigit Holford, not available due to injury was made up of Sian Kelly, Allison Drake-Wells, along with Linda Creedy and Scarlett Jeon.
One of the biggest movers was Otago, who set out with clear goals to improve on their 2019 - 14th placing. Liz McRae stated the aim and with Tracey Storer, Pauline Hogue and Jackie Hamilton made the trip home satisfied with their 5th equal placing with North Harbour.
Taranaki and Southland finished with 153 points, joint 8th placing. Taranaki had recorded their only win in the 2007 Masters, when the tournament was last hosted in the far north.
Southland has been a winner 6-times, still chasing their 7th win. They had finished 5th in 2019, so dropped back 3 places.
Tasman finished with 152 points in 10th place, up 2 from 2019 and Manawatu / Wanganui 5 shots back with 147 points. They are ranked 11th out of the 14 districts.
Wellington finished with 140 points, Hawkes Bay / Poverty Bay with 132 and Aorangi with 124, struggling with 3 players in the final round when Linda Brown had to withdraw with injury.
This tournament remains a favorite with many senior women and has retained the initial format of scoring, best 3 of 4 gross stableford points over 4 rounds.
The tournament is due to move to the South Island in 2022, Golf New Zealand yet to confirm the venue.
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