You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Auckland showed why they are favourites at the 2012 Toro Women's Interprovincial on day two of the championship at the St Clair Golf Club in Dunedin today, but not before a nervous finish.
The most successful team in the event that dates back to 1949 (with 20 wins) dismissed Canterbury easily this morning by 4-1 before a scare this afternoon.
They looked to be in cruise control for their third win from as many matches this afternoon but were made to fight by a dogged Taranaki team.
Auckland No 2 Munchin Keh, who won the New Zealand amateur championship in April, was one down to Taranaki's Holly Winter heading down the last.
But the Titirangi golfer rallied and made a 10 foot putt for birdie to win the hole and secure the half which enabled the defending champions to win 3-2.
Auckland, who has won 11.5 of a possible 15 individual points, is top of Division One ahead as the only team with a perfect winning record in the group and has already had its bye.
Meanwhile, in division two Wellington has continued its momentum with a 4-1 demolition of Tasman this afternoon in the balmy conditions.
Wellington, who has not won the event since 1992, looks on course to meet Auckland in the final on Saturday afternoon.
North Harbour, who are playing without world No 1 Lydia Ko, has continued to win well and alongside Wellington are the only unbeaten teams from Division Two.
The 2011 champions have quality throughout their team in New Zealand Amateur finalists the Keh sisters and Larissa Eruera who won the New Zealand amateur in 2006 as a 14-year-old.
The Auckland captain has gone unbeaten this week at No 5 and was pleased with her team's form as they play under the pressure of the favourite's tag.
"It is always tough to be favourites as well as defending champions because everyone wants your scalp," said the 20-year-old from the Akarana Golf Club.
"So you have to take every match seriously - especially around this course. It is short and there is a lot of par fives so there is the chance to score well. We have to focus on what we are doing."
Waikato continued its momentum this morning with a 4-1 win this morning over Aorangi but they lost their way this afternoon in a crucial match with Canterbury for their semi-final chances.
Canterbury rallied well in their must-win match with Sylvie Williams, Jess Guezenrodt and reserve Fiona Gebbie getting them over the line.
There is a long way to go but that result may mean that Waikato, if Canterbury goes through undefeated from here on, will have to beat Auckland on Friday afternoon to advance to the semi-finals.
On the other side, Bay of Plenty suffered a blow to their title hopes when they were well beaten 4 - 1 by a jubilant Manawatu-Wanganui side.
Manawatu No.5 Kelly Nicholas was five down with six to play and came back to beat her Bay rival Alanna Campbell 1up. Their No.4 Stephanie Hyatt also enjoyed a remarkable turnaround. She was three down with nine holes to play and also won 1up.
There is a long way to go in the national team's championship and while Auckland and Wellington have shown their quality early they will be wary of being upset again tomorrow.
It was a near thing today for Auckland and they will look to make sure hosts Otago doesn't claim their scalp tomorrow while Wellington will feature in one of the matches of the day against Bay of Plenty.
Toro Women's Interprovincial Round Three and Four Scores - St Clair Golf Club, Dunedin
Round Three Scores:
Waikato 4 Aorangi 1
Hanna Seifert bt Catherine Bell 1up, Sarah Bradley lost to Catherine Knight 1down, Charlotte Willson bt Ginny Bolderston 2/1, Fai Tongdethsri bt Nicole Nathan 5/4, Michelle Archer bt Heather Oldfield 5/3
Auckland 4 Canterbury 1
Wenyung Keh bt Sylvie Williams 4/3, Munchin Keh bt Elisha Crosbie 5/3, Joanna Kim lost to Jess Guenzerodt 3/1, Brittney Dryland bt Kate Turner 3/1, Larissa Eruera bt Fiona Gebbie 3/2
Taranaki 3 Otago 2
Carol Chard lost to Laura Hoskin 2/1, Holly Winter lost to Jo Hicks- Beach 4/3, Celeste McLean bt Liz McRae 5/4, Rochelle Keegan bt Dale Dagg 3/2, Vanessa Bouvet bt Susan Greig 5/4
Bay of Plenty 4 Tasman 1
Zoe Brake bt Emily Stenhouse 3/2, Grace Senior bt Lesley Baxter 5/4, Tyla Kingi bt Emily Greenhough 2up, Susan Lines lost to Tracy Bary 3/1, Alanna Campbell bt Adrianne Wislang 4/2
North Harbour 3 Manawatu / Wanganui 2
Kristen Farrell bt Emma Clayton 2up, Lita Guo bt Amber-Rose Thompson-Newth 2/1, Sai Ma bt Brydie Hodge 3/1, Julitta Lam lost to Stephanie Hyatt 4/3, Jessica Murray lost to Kelly Nicholas 1down
Southland 4 Northland 1
Robyn Pullar bt Sjanna Bonnigton 4/3, Angela Gerken lost to Kylie Jacoby 5/4, Olivia Frost bt Jo Taylor 5/4, Kerry Mariu bt Jodi McCalister 3/2, Bronwyn O'Brien bt Brooke Kingi 3/1
Wellington 4 Tasman 1
Julianne Alvarez bt Emily Stenhouse 7/6, Te Rongopai Clay bt Lesley Baxter 7/5, Barbara Parreno lost to Emily Greenhough 2down, Lucy Davis bt Tracy Bary 6/4, Alanah Braybrook bt Jean Gibson 6/5
Manawatu / Wanganui 4 Bay of Plenty 1
Emma Clayton bt Zoe Brake 1up, Amber Rose Thompson-Newth lost to Grace Senior 6/5, Brydie Hodge bt Tyla Kingi 4/3, Stephanie Hyatt bt Susan Lines 1up, Kelly Nicholas bt Alanna Campbell 1up
North Harbour 3 1/2 Southland 1 1/2
Kristen Farrell bt Robyn Pullar 2/1, Lita Guo bt Angela Gerken 6/5, Sai Ma halved with Olivia Frost, Julitta Lam lost to Kerry Mariu 3/2, Jessica Murray bt Bronwyn O'Brien 4/2
Hawkes Bay 4 Aorangi 1
Kate Chadwick bt Catherine Bell 2/1, Jaimie McIvor lost to Catherine Knight 6/4, Anglea Jones bt Ginny Bolderston 4/3, Tessa McDonald bt Nicole Nathan 2/1, Lucy Owen bt Heather Oldfield 5/3
Canterbury 3 Waikato 2
Sylvie Williams bt Hanna Seifert 3/1, Elisha Crosbie lost to Sarah Bradley 4/2, Jess Guenzerodt bt Charlotte Willson 4/3, Kate Turner lost to Fai Tongdethsri 4/3, Fiona Gebbie bt Michelle Archer 5/4
Auckland 3 Taranaki 2
Wenyung Keh bt Carol Chard 7/6, Munchin Keh halved with Holly Winter, Joanna Kim lost to Celeste McLean 1down, Brittney Dryland bt Rochelle Keegan 3/2, Larissa Eruera halved with Vanessa Bouvet
Division One - Team Standings
Team wins, Individual wins, Team (* had the bye)
3.0 11.5 Auckland*
3.0 11.0 Canterbury
2.0 9.0 Waikato*
2.0 8.0 Hawkes Bay*
1.0 9.0 Taranaki
1.0 8.0 Otago*
0.0 3.5 Aorangi
Division Two - Team Standings
Team wins, Individual wins Team (* had the bye)
3.0 11.0 Wellington*
3.0 10.5 North Harbour*
2.0 12.5 Manawatu / Wanganui*
2.0 8.0 Bay of Plenty
1.0 8.0 Southland
1.0 6.0 Northland
0.0 4.0 Tasman