Golf: Victor clinches victory

Victor Janin celebrates sinking a putt on the second extra hole, to clinch victory for his Bay of Plenty team in the 2012 New Zealand interprovincial championship, at the Otago Golf Club at Balmacewen on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Victor Janin celebrates sinking a putt on the second extra hole, to clinch victory for his Bay of Plenty team in the 2012 New Zealand interprovincial championship, at the Otago Golf Club at Balmacewen on Saturday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Victor the victorious.

After going to the wire twice on Saturday, Bay of Plenty emerged the winner at the interprovincial championship at Otago Golf Club.

Victor Janin (21) proved to be the man of the hour, draining a crunch putt on the second extra hole to win the title for his side against a gallant Manawatu-Wanganui team.

Earlier, Bay of Plenty had also gone to an extra hole to see off Southland in the semifinal, with Peter Lee draining a long putt to win the match.

Under the rules of the tournament, if a sudden-death match is squared, extra holes have to be played to decide a winner.

With Bay of Plenty and Manawatu-Wanganui all tied up in the final, two match victories each, extra holes had to be played.

Janin and Junior Tahana could not be prised apart after 18 holes, although Tahana let victory slip from his grasp when he double bogeyed the last hole.

They could not be separated on the first extra hole, but a superb drive and chip gave Janin victory on the second hole.

Unsurprisingly, he was elated.

''It is all a bit surreal, really. I wasn't nervous at all. Everyone was behind me, supporting me and I just wanted to stay positive,'' Janin said.

''My coach said to me things like this go quickly, so make sure you enjoy it and remember it."

He said the adrenaline was pumping in the playoff and he wanted to get excited about it.

''I had got off to a rough start in the round and I always seemed to be fighting. But I hung in there and stayed tough."

Janin, who hails from Rotorua, was the reserve for the Bay side beaten by Southland in the final in Gisborne last year, so it was nice to get his hands on the title.

Bay of Plenty had only just sneaked into the final. Its semifinal in the morning against Southland see-sawed constantly and went to the final hole.

Southland No 1 Tyler McLean won the final hole to force a playoff after he had an up-and-down round against Bay of Plenty No 1 Brad Kendall.

Bay of Plenty managed to hold its nerve, thanks to a top putt from No 2 Peter Lee, and that was the story of its day - just doing enough to win.

That fact was acknowledged by winning coach Jay Carter.

''It seemed like we were never really in a lot of matches. But it was a massive amount of courage and belief which got us there,'' Carter said.

''Belief had been a real key for us this week and the guys stuck at it today. Sometimes there we looked a bit down and out of it.

''It was great watching Victor prepare for the playoff and see how much he was enjoying it. That is the way to approach it. If you start playing for fear then you are going to be in trouble."

It was tough on Manawatu-Wanganui, which lost its first match of the tournament against Wellington and then won the rest in its march to the final.

Tahana looked in control for most of the final, while Manawatu-Wanganui No 3 Trent Munn was unbeaten throughout the week.

Manawatu-Wanganui beat Tasman 4-1 in the semifinal. Manawatu-Wanganui manager David Taylor said it was tough to lose the final, especially when it came down to one player, in what was a team game.

The side had last won the title in 1964 and it was its first appearance in the final for more than a dozen years.

Southland finished third, as it won more games over the week than Tasman.