2023 New Zealand Women’s Masters
Saturday 1 April – Otaki
Despite some stiff challenges and uncomfortable rain squalls coming through the Kapiti Coast most of the day, the Waikato four have hung onto their lead in the 2023 New Zealand Women’s Masters.
‘Darling’ of the team is Michelle Archer who has contributed in the three rounds to date with 37, 33 and 32 gross-Stableford points, a total of 102. Archer’s 102 is the leading individual score over the 12 districts, 48 players.
The current champions have one of the strongest teams with a heap of experience including captain Robyn Pellow, along with regular Waikato representatives Jill Morgan and Julie Gee.
In the 72 hole district competition, 3 best scores out of the 4 each round are accumulated to the teams total. Pellow, Morgan and Gee have all posted a non-counting round – but hey it’s a team effort and together they have hung onto their lead after the 36 holes today.
Waikato have won the Russell Grace on three previous occasions including the 2022 Masters held at Alexandra – they are the defending team and the one to beat.
Chasing hard is the formidable Northland team, led once again by Kylie Jacoby. Jacoby had one of the best rounds in this afternoons play – 36 points, only matched by Heather Keefe playing for the Bay of Plenty.
Harbour is sitting in 3rd place, a further 2 shots back. So the top three have 284, 282 and 280 points respectively. Harbour have been there or thereabouts in recent years but yet to claim the trophy, Northland were victorious in 2017.
Leading Harbours chase is none other than Vaha Fapiano who had the best round of the day, with 37 points this morning. Birdies on the par 3-6th, and par 4-9th with one bogey on the par 3-12th – and a very nice 1-under par round.
Rounding out the top four is the Bay of Plenty. They finish the day with 270 points, 10 shots back – a big ask but anything can happen in this game as we know.
Next placed teams include Auckland, 269 points, Hawkes Bay Poverty Bay with 268, Canterbury with 263 and Southland a further 13 points back on 250.
Auckland would need to post a big total tomorrow to gain a top 3 finish – they have been winners on 3 other occasions, the last at the tournaments 25th birthday, in Methven 2016.
Hawkes Bay Poverty Bay are fighting to get into the top 5 having finished in 8th place in 2022. Bridesmaids on 3 previous occasions they posted an excellant afternoon round of 93 team points. Canterbury slipped a little from their overnight 2nd equal position, and now lie in 7th place ahead of Southland. Southland dominated the prize table in the years 2009 – 2015 but a huge ask tomorrow to gain back the title. They were placed 3rd equal last year.
The bottom four teams in order, Wellington, Aorangi, Manawatu Wanganui and Taranaki are jostling for position – having finished 7th, 12th, 3rd equal and 9th in 2022 respectively.
Final round tomorrow commences at 8.00am with prize giving due to commence at 2.30pm.
Golf New Zealand Tournament Director
Phone 0275 662 385