Chung leads Wellington to victory

Wellington celebrates its victory in the New Zealand women’s interprovincial at the Timaru club....
Wellington celebrates its victory in the New Zealand women’s interprovincial at the Timaru club. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Star player Darae Chung led Wellington to victory on the final day of the New Zealand women’s interprovincial on Saturday.

No 1 Chung had two comfortable wins on Saturday as Wellington beat Manawatu-Whanganui 3-2 in one semifinal then beat Canterbury 3.5-1.5 in the final at the Timaru club’s Levels course.

Wellington got off to a great start in the final, No 5 Dakota-Jolee Asi giving her team early momentum as she shot to a 4-up lead after 10 holes.

While the matches in the middle of the order remained close, Chung jumped out to a big lead on the front nine to make the turn 6-up. She kept her foot down on the back nine and closed things out with a birdie on the 12th hole to win 8 and 6.

Canterbury refused to give up, and Melissa Newburn and morning hero Rachel Elder mounted comebacks against their Wellington opposition.

Newburn fought back to 1-down against rookie Asi, while Elder was 1-up playing the last.

Newburn had a 12-foot par putt to halve her match, but it slid past, handing the spoils to Wellington.

Chung, named player of the tournament, enjoyed the team aspect of the week.

"I feel like this week is more precious because we are playing for each other as a team and I think in that sense there is this wonderful unity," Chung said.

"Everyone is supporting each other wholeheartedly and I really like that.

"This week I was really steady trying to make a lot of pars, but I did manage to make a lot of birdies."

Wellington Golf general manager Steve Weir, who was at Levels with the team for the week, echoed Chung’s sense of team unity.

"We had a super group of six girls, who consider themselves a team of six, not five players and a reserve, and they played really well in the back end of the week," Weir said.

"They are young adults but, in some sense, senior golfers who have fantastic team spirit and really genuinely play for each other."

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