In-form Bungard returns to Otago lineup

Phil Bungard is back in the fray for the Otago men’s interprovincial golf team. PHOTO: GERARD O...
Phil Bungard is back in the fray for the Otago men’s interprovincial golf team. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
Something old and something new feature in the Otago teams named for the New Zealand interprovincial tournaments next month.

The men have whistled up a couple of familiar faces after long absences, while the women have got even younger and will give two more schoolgirls a chance to experience elite provincial golf.

One name sticks out of the men’s squad.

Phil Bungard (38) returns to the Otago team after last playing at the New Zealand interprovincial at Greenacres (Nelson) in 2008, a year after making his debut at Mt Maunganui.

He has been in excellent form in recent times, winning back-to-back Dunedin strokeplay titles, the New Zealand mid-amateur championship and the 2021 Otago matchplay.

Bungard is one of three changes to the Otago team that won four and lost two games last year.

No 1 Inia Logan has stepped away from competitive golf, and Parker Aluesi and Brandon Hodgson have missed selection.

Callum Judkins returns to the five-man team after missing out last year.

Like Bungard, Wanaka golfer Hamish Ireland returns to the Otago team after a long time away. Ireland, who will captain the team, made his only previous appearance in 2010.

Will McClauchlan leaps to No 1, and the reliable Ryan Bellamy is at No 2.

The Otago women’s team, who showed real promise to also grab four wins last year, will hand New Zealand interprovincial debuts to Sophia Park and Anahera Koni.

The talented schoolgirls made their senior debuts for Otago at the South Island tournament recently.

Sumin Kang and Yoonae Jeong will hold down the top of the order for a fourth straight year, while North Otago golfer Judith Yates will provide a steady hand at No 3.

Both national interprovincial tournaments run from December 5-9. The women are at Waikanae for four days and Paraparaumu Beach for one; the men have the reverse schedule.

Otago golf

Interprovincial teams

Men: Will McLauchlan (Otago), Ryan Bellamy (Port Chalmers), Hamish Ireland (Wanaka), Callum Judkins (Otago), Phil Bungard (St Clair). Reserve: Jacob Bellamy (St Clair).

Women: Sumin Kang (Wakatipu Juniors), Yoonae Jeong (Wakatipu Juniors), Judith Yates (North Otago), Sophia Park (Futures Dunedin), Anahera Koni (Island Park). Reserve/manager: Liz McRae.