Great starts for Otago teams

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
Otago teams had a terrific Tuesday as they made a winning start to the New Zealand interprovincial yesterday.

The Otago men beat Northland 3-2 at Paraparaumu Beach, and the women beat Taranaki by the same score at Waikanae, before both teams had the bye in the afternoon round.

All three men in Otago’s middle order had opening-round wins.

Ryan Bellamy (2 and 1), captain Hamish Ireland (3 and 1) and the returning Phil Bungard (3 and 2) claimed the points.

Young Otago No1 Will McLauchlan fought hard against classy New Zealand Amateur medallist Stewart McCaw before losing 4 and 3, and Jacob Bellamy fell by the same score at the tail.

Jacob Bellamy was a late replacement for Callum Judkins, who has been battling a back niggle.

Ireland said it was a pleasing start to the tournament.

"It was a pretty calm day with just a bit of a breeze to keep it interesting," Ireland said.

"All of us got off to a pretty good start, and it was really nice to see Otago up on the board when we went past the scorers.

"The matches were all pretty tight and we were sort of in control, which was nice."

Ireland birdied his first hole and won the second with par to get in a strong position in his match.

Otago’s Wakatipu Juniors stars got the ball rolling in the women’s tournament.

No 1 Sumin Kang, experienced beyond her 18 years and set to head to college in the United States, beat Holly Winter 4 and 3.

Yoonae Jeong followed with a 5 and 3 crushing of Meena Reilly at No 2.

Match point was clinched by 14-year-old Sophia Park, who celebrated her debut with a 4 and 2 win over Melanie Brophy.

The Otago men play Wellington and Manawatu-Whanganui at Waikanae today.

The women clash with Waikato and neighbours Aorangi at Paraparaumu Beach.

Southland’s men halved with Hawke’s Bay and beat North Harbour 3.5-1.5. Liam Balneaves was the only Southlander to win both his matches.