Wellington Claim the 2021 New Zealand Women’s Interprovincial Title

Triumphant Wellington Women’s Interprovincial Team (Golf NZ)
Triumphant Wellington Women’s Interprovincial Team (Golf NZ)

Wellington has won the women’s 2021 New Zealand Women’s Interprovincial title after defeating Canterbury in the final at Timaru Golf Club.

Led by number one player Darae Chung who had two comfortable victories on the final day, the team from the capital city won 3½ – 1½ in the final.

However, to get to the final both teams endured tense morning semi-finals with both matches coming down to the wire.

Wellington saw off a tough Manawatu-Wanganui 3-2 with Danika Lee crucially coming back in her match against Casey Chettleburgh to win on the final hole and send Wellington through.

The other semi-final between Canterbury and the Bay of Plenty was even tenser. Bay of Plenty had been the form team all week and was unbeaten heading into the final day, but Canterbury bounced back strongly after losing their final two pool matches to turn the tables on the tournament favourites.

With the first four matches finished and two wins to each team, attention turned to number 4s Rachel Eder (Canterbury) and Heather Keefe (Bay of Plenty) who were all square playing the last. They couldn’t be separated after 18 holes so had to continue their match heading down the first.

A par on the hole was enough for Eder to send Canterbury through.

With attention turning to the final, Wellington got off to a great start with number 5 Dakota-Jolee Asi giving the team early momentum moving to 4 up through the first ten holes.

While the matches in the middle of the order remained close at the top of the order Darae Chung jumped out to a big lead on the front 9 to make the turn 6 up. She kept her foot down on the back and closed things out with a birdie on the 12th hole to win 8&6.

Canterbury refused to give up and Melissa Newburn and morning hero Rachel Elder mounted comebacks against their Wellington opposition.

Newburn playing against rookie Dakota-Jolee Asi managed to get one down with one to play while Elder was 1 up playing the last.

Newburn had a 12-foot par putt to halve her match, but it slid past handing the spoils to Wellington.

Wellington number one Chung, who was named player of the tournament enjoyed the team aspect of the week saying

“I feel like this week is more precious because we are playing for each other as a team and I think in that sense there is this wonderful unity, everyone is supporting each other wholeheartedly and I really like that,” Chung said.

“This week I was really steady trying to make a lot of pars, but I did manage to make a lot of birdies. The course was in such amazing condition as well.”

Wellington Golf General Manager Steve Weir who was down with the team for the week echoed Chung’s sense of team unity.

“We had a super group of six girls, who consider themselves a team of six, not five players and a reserve and they played really well in the back end of the week,” Weir said.

“They are young adults but in some sense, senior golfers who have fantastic team spirit and really genuinely play for each other.”

After being together for five years the team knew this was their last chance for victory together with many of the team heading overseas in 2022. They took that last chance with both hands and can now call themselves national champions.

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