Top golfers to chase SI title at Fairhall

Rarangi youngster Aroha Minhinnick is set to make her Tasman senior debut. Photo: Shuttersport.

The mainland’s top women golfers will tee off at the Marlborough Golf Club this weekend, with the South Island Interprovincial title at stake.

The competition involves eight-person teams from Tasman, Aorangi, Otago and Canterbury doing battle on Saturday and Sunday in a matchplay format. Each player will play two games each on Saturday and one on Sunday.

The hosts have named a well-balanced team which includes four players from Marlborough clubs, who will relish the chance to benefit from a home advantage.

Showing the way will be team captain Emily Stenhouse who, although still only 40-years-of-age, is something of a veteran of these events, this being her “ninth or tenth” trip to the SI champs.

She feels home advantage will be an asset.

“That will help us a lot, especially playing at Fairhall because it is a tricky course. You need to manage it a bit better than some others.

“We are really looking forward to it … it is quite exciting.”

Stenhouse will take the No 3 position on the Tasman roster, which is headed by the prodigiously talented 16-year-old Lizzie Neale from Nelson. Eve Clarke, also from Nelson, is at two with Awatere’s Amber Boyce playing four.

Rarangi duo Tracy Bary and 12-year-old Aroha Minhinnick, who is making her Tasman debut, will fill the five and six slots respectively, while Jean Gibson from Karamea will play seven with Nelson’s Michele Reardon at eight.

Last year Tasman finished third among five teams, scoring wins over Southland and Aorangi and losing narrowly to Otago. Canterbury, one of the nation’s golfing powerhouses, claimed top honours in 2018 and will be the team to beat again.

After the event a final Tasman women’s team will be named to compete at the forthcoming national champs in December. That team will included five players plus a reserve.

The Tasman senior women’s team to attend the SI champs: Lizzie Neale (Nelson), Eve Clarke (Nelson), Emily Stenhouse (Marlborough, captain), Amber Boyce (Awatere), Tracy Bary (Rarangi), Aroha Minhinnick (Rarangi), Jean Gibson (Karamea) and Michelle Reardon (Nelson).

Play begins at Fairhall from 8am Saturday and Sunday.

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