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Taranaki’s male golfers followed in the footsteps of their rugby counterparts by winning a national title at the weekend.
Taranaki capped an undefeated week at the Ashburton club with a 3-2 win over Hawke’s Bay in the final to seal its first New Zealand interprovincial championship.
The results of the semifinals — Taranaki beat Wellington 3-2, and Hawke’s Bay shocked top seed Waikato 4-1 — meant the final was extra significant as both provinces chased their first title.
No5 Joseph Doyle set the pace for Taranaki, getting the first point with a 6 and 4 win over Josh Dasent.
At No4, captain Andrew Searle beat Hawke’s Bay veteran Russell Mitchell 4 and 2, while No3 Ben Joseph sealed it for Taranaki when he recovered from a shaky start to beat Tyson Tawera 3 and 2.
Hawkes Bay No2 Zack Swanwick sealed a sensational individual week when he won his seventh straight match, beating Cam Harlock 1-up, and Mako Thompson got the Bay’s second point with a 1-up win over Sam Jones.
Taranaki captain Searle said was an amazing feeling to get over the line.
“I’ve played in nine of these; four with Canterbury and now five with Taranaki. It was fantastic to make the final and get through with a great bunch of guys.
“We’ve had plenty of support from everyone back home all week. It’s great to play so well and bring it home."
Taranaki No1 Jones was named player of the tournament for winning seven of his eight matches.
Jones said the key for the team the whole week was taking it one match at a time.
“We had a few close matches early that we managed to pull through and we performed better against the tougher sides.
‘‘I think we were taking after the Taranaki rugby side, who went 10-zip this year, and we managed to go through eight-zip.
“Between us and them, it’s been a pretty good year for Taranaki sport."
Women’s golf now takes centre stage when its interprovincial starts at Timaru tomorrow.