Close encounters of the golfing kind feature of round 2


The Otago men’s selectors look to have plenty to ponder later in the year after two Metropolitan senior A games went to extra holes on Saturday after torrid battles at Balmacewen and Chisholm Links.

There have now been three tied games in the first two rounds of play.

St Clair Saints, who trounced Taieri Lakes 6-0 in Corstorphine, lead on a superior games tally over Island Park, who came from behind to clinch a playoff victory over Chisholm Links.

The Links looked all but the winners of the fixture with early wins to Mike Weastell and Kai Koni before Blair Liffiton beat Michael Minty on the 17th to secure three games.

Park No 3 Phil Bungard earned the visitors’ first win before Mike Wray beat Matt Robinson on the final green.

Links No 1 Jason Pegler was in control — 4-up with five holes to play against Brent Butler — but after some errant shot-making from Pegler, the match was all square on the 18th tee before Butler drove the green and had the match conceded after Pegler found more trouble.

Weastell and Bungard faced off in the playoff with the first hole being the 18th.

Weastell’s drive was handy after perching above the greenside bunker, while Bungard’s drive went long but safe. However, a duffed chip from Weastell left him short of the green, while Bungard pitched to two feet and the conceded birdie resulted in an Island Park win.

At St Clair, it was one-way traffic with all six games going to the home side. The only real resistance from the visitors came from Mark Andrews, who took Cody McMullan to the last hole.

The performance has the competition on notice and early indications suggest St Clair’s decision to enter one team and condense their talent pool may prove to be a master stroke.

At Balmacewen, the derby always looked a tight one and it did not disappoint, the B52s turning the tables on an extra-hole defeat a fortnight ago to claim sweet victory over their "big brothers", the Bombers.

B52s’ No1 Will McLauchlan claimed the first game before Duncan Croudis and Brandon Hodgson put the Bombers in front.

Lewis Harper won the eagerly anticipated match over former Highlanders coach Tony Brown to level the fixture before Andrew Hobbs secured three games for the B52s.

This left Ben Patston (Bombers) fighting to earn a playoff spot — needing to hole a 3m putt to beat a brave Lachlan Coutts to win 1-up.

Hodgson and McLauchlan faced off in extra holes, both halving the par-5 first in birdies.

McLauchlan made two on the par-3 15th to Hodgson’s bogey to seal the B52s’ first match of the season and confine the defending champions to what is becoming their early-season trend with an 0-2 record.

— Michael Minty