Otago tips up strong Canty side

A furious rally on the final nine holes has given Otago a momentous upset.

Teenagers Sumin Kang and Yoonae Jeong were down at the turn.

But both finished strongly to knock off Canterbury’s top two.

That was key in Otago’s 3-2 win over one of the leaders at the New Zealand women’s interprovincial golf championships in Timaru.

Otago No 1 Kang was 3-down against Maddie May after nine holes.

She won both 11 and 12, before dropping 13, to be 2-down with five holes left.

Wins on both the 16th and 17th left her all square heading into the final hole.

There, she birdied to claim victory 1-up.

No 2 Jeong, who has shown her class all week at just 13 years old, followed a similar trend against Catherine Bell.

She was 2-down at the turn, before winning the 12th, 13th and 15th to go 1-up.

In contrast it was a fast start from No 4 Abby Crawford, in her match against Rachel Eder, that gave Otago its third win.

Crawford was 4-up after five holes, before dropping the 12th and 13th.

However, she bounced back and wins on the 15th and 16th gave her a 4 and 2 win.

Kathryn Baker and Tracey Storer were competitive at the turn, but struggled as their matches wore, both losing 5 and 4.

Otago team manager Liz McRae said the group was "very excited" after its win.

The team had fallen short of a top four spot, although wins in its final two round robin games were encouraging.

McRae said not having Kang, who was away with exams, on the first day had a big impact.

She said Jeong had done well filling the void as Otago’s No 1 in her absence, though.

Bay of Plenty (BOP), Manawatu Wanganui, Wellington, and Canterbury will contest the semifinals and final today.

BOP topped the table as the only undefeated team on six wins and 20 games this week. It will play the fourth-placed Canterbury outfit in the first semi today, and looks a strong favourite for the title.

Manawatu Wanganui claimed second on five wins and will square off against Wellington in the second semifinal.

BOP was the first to secure their place on Saturday, beating Hawkes Bay Poverty Bay by a slim margin of 3 – 2 in round six in the morning.

They then faced Canterbury in the afternoon and won comfortably 4 – 1.

Despite progressing through to the semifinals, it was a day to forget for Canterbury.

It had a nervous wait as it lost both their matches, and needed Aorangi to hold off a fast-finishing Northland side for a semifinal place.

Fortunately for the red and blacks, the hosts stunned Northland 3 – 2, putting Canterbury through. — Additional reporting staff reporter

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