Otago falls just short

Otago had its chances in a tight final game.

In the end it could not quite convert.

The province was left half a point short of a top-four spot at the New Zealand men's golf interprovincial in Ashburton.

A win yesterday would have seen it through.

However, a 3-1 loss to Bay of Plenty in the morning and a draw to Hawke's Bay — which pipped it for the final spot — left it short.

Tom Lee and Jacob Bellamy had both won a half in their games against Bay of Plenty.

However, both Ryan Bellamy and Callum Judkins came up against opponents who finished strongly.

James Tauariki shot 5-under over the last six holes, to beat Bellamy 3 and 1.

Jayme Martin hit a similar run, going 4-under through his last five against Judkins to win 5 and 3.

It was a loss Otago team manager Mahal Pearce said had been "pretty disappointing" against a young Bay of Plenty team.

In the afternoon, Brandon Hodgson won 2 and 1, while Judkins won his game on the last hole.

Ryan Bellamy had led Zack Swanwick early, before falling behind and eventually losing 2 down on the final hole, while Jacob Bellamy lost to Matt Edmondson.

Meanwhile Tom Lee was all square going to the last hole with Mako Thompson, but halved it, leaving Otago with a draw.

Otago had been competitive throughout the week.

However, Pearce said the first-up loss to Poverty Bay-East Coast was costly.

"The first game against Poverty Bay, the boys went out a bit slow and Poverty Bay played really well against us.

"The boys dug deep, but it just wasn’t quite running hot enough, really. That’s the way it is.''

Hawke's Bay was joined by Wellington, an undefeated Taranaki team, and Waikato in the top four.


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