The 2017 Men’s Freyberg Masters team arrived in Auckland on Saturday the 4th November.
The team drove to Whitford Park Golf course and played a practice round in heavy rain.
It was decided getting wet was a small price to pay for getting an extra look at the course. Saturday evening was spent setting up camp at our Air BnB and drying bags, clubs and clothing!
On Sunday it was back to the course for the official practice round and the opening ceremony. The course was in immaculate condition and we were all very keen to get the games started.
The team looked very smart in their new Footjoy clothing and Blair had the honour of raising the Aorangi flag at the opening ceremony.
First game up was v Waikato where we had a very good half, but the boys knew it was one we could of won, but off to a solid start with wins to R Bell & J Smitheram and a half to R Grant.
In the afternoon we took on the big brother from up the road in Canterbury and took away the silverware. Wins to J Smitheram, R Stills and R Grant. R Grant was 4 down with 3 to play and came home to secure the team win on the last hole v A Forsyth.
Then we had one of the big boys, Wellington. A very strong team that managed to defeat us 4/1. Our sole victory was secured by R Stills.
Next we took on a very strong Manawatu/Wanganui side, but again our middle order proved to strong and we managed a 3/2 victory, with wins to R Bell, J Smitheram and R Stills
Day 4 started with a half against Taranaki and again a result we were hoping to do slightly better in at the start of the day. Wins to R Bell, O Miller and a half to R Grant
The came the might of a very strong Auckland side. For a catchment area of their size against Aorangi the are always going to have a slight head start, but the one advantage we always seem to have is the extra fight and never give up attitude. We went down 4.5/.5 with the half being achieved by R Stills, but all 5 players performed admirably against such a strong side.
Day 5 presented Southland first thing and sadly it was the only game in which we felt we let ourselves down. We lost 3/2 with wins to R Bell and R Stills
The last game of the tournament and a chance to at least cause an upset and change the medal table. We played Northland who were sitting in 3rd position on the table and could afford to lose to Aorangi by 3/2 and still stay in 3rd position. Unfortunately for Northland they were defeated 4/1 and dropped down the table, so a great last effort by the team. Wins to O Miller, R Stlls, R Bell and B Franklin.
A fantastic week where Aorangi achieved a lot in both their performances on the course and in friendships off it.
On a personal note it was an absolute pleasure to make my debut for Aorangi at the Freyberg and able to contribute to the team with a win.