Bombers down B52s in tight Metropolitan A final at Balmacewen

The two teams representing the Otago Golf Club, the B52s and the Bombers, watch as Callum Judkins...
The two teams representing the Otago Golf Club, the B52s and the Bombers, watch as Callum Judkins gets the metropolitan pennant final under way at Balmacewen yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
It promised to be a tight affair and while the result did not quite come down to a final putt on the 18th green, there were plenty of swings and roundabouts when the Bombers downed their B52s club mates in the Metropolitan Senior A final at Balmacewen yesterday.

The fixture was played a week late, due to unplayable conditions last weekend, but the line ups remained the same with all players remaining available for the rescheduled match, played in testing cold, windy conditions in front of a large gallery of supporters.

As expected, the Bombers began strongly in the tail, No6 Callum Judkins and No5 Brandon Hodgson dominating through the first nine holes over Will McLauchlan and Paul Hubbard respectively.

Both matches finished on the 15th green with neither B52 players able to cut back the margins. Judkins holed a 20m bomb for birdie to finish well under the card, while Hodgson proved too steady for Hubbard, to give the Bombers two early games.

But the B52s had two games in their favour at the halfway stage, No1 Matt Weir 4 up over John McIntee No2 Tom Lee 2 up over Tyrone Ratahi through eight holes, giving the underdogs hope, as attention turned to the tight tussle in the middle order.

At No4, it was a case of who could scramble the best, as Ben Patston (Bombers) held a 2 up advantage over Andrew Hobbs (B52s) through the turn.

Hobbs won the 13th to go back to 1 down when Patston found trouble but Hobbs returned the favour when he found trouble on 14th while Patston limped to a double bogey, which was good enough to win the hole.

A wayward shot on the par 3 15th from Patston handed the hole to Hobbs reducing the margin to 1. Both players halved the next 2 holes and the match went to the 18th where a poor drive from Patston resulted in Hobbs two-putting for par and the match finishing all square.

At number3 Duncan Croudis (Bombers) and Henry Hodgson (B52s) were locked up in a tight tussle. Hodgson turned 1 up but in a see-sawing affair, Croudis won three of the next four holes, to go 2 up after 13.

Momentum swung again on the 14th, when Hodgson stiffed his second shot to win the hole, which was followed but a missed short putt by Croudis on the 15th to square up the match.

Both drove the short par 4 16th and halved in birdies.

Hodgson had the chance to go 1 up heading to the 18th but missed his birdie attempt on the 17th but the advantage still lay with him when Croudis hooked his drive, bouncing off a tree back on to the fairway but a long way out on the 18th.

Hodgson knocked a stunner from the fairway to 3m, while Croudis was forced to get up and down from the back of the green. His chip ended up 4m away, which he then slotted. Hodgson rushed his birdie putt 1m past the hole but managed to secure the half, holing his par.

With the Bombers now holding three games, the fixture rested on the top order, where the Bombers duo were making a comeback.

Lee still held a 2 up advantage over Ratahi through 10 holes but that margin disappeared when Ratahi flicked the switch, winning four holes in succession to stand on the 17th tee 1 up.

When Lee found trouble on the left, the hole was Ratahi’s to lose and the match finished with Ratahi sealing the pennant title for the Bombers with a 2/1 win.

In what turned out to be a consolation game for the B52s, Weir was fighting off McIntee, who managed to get the margin back to 1 at the 15th.

But Weir won the 16th to go dormie up before earning a consolation 2/1 win that on another day could have been the difference.

The 4-2 result to the Bombers was a fair result to both sides despite the B52s being in the contest the whole way.

 - Michael Minty

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