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Lower North Coast Encourage Shield

The big day finally arrived last Sunday and the six members of the Kew Country Club Encourage Shield Team assembled at Port Macquarie Golf Club to play Port for the Lower North Coast title with the winner advancing to the next round where they play against Grafton, who were the winners from Mid North Coast.

The weather made course conditions extremely difficult with a strong southerly blowing mixed with intermittent showers. The very young KCC team was giving away age and experience to the more mature Port team and it was always going to be a battle for them to come out on top.

With a handicap matchplay format in place, the first two of our team Pyper Hollis and Jacob Wilkie were always ahead in their matches and eventually were easy winners to give our team a great start. Pyper won 7 and 6 and Jacob won 6 and 4. It was also evident that our last two players Jake Bell and Fletcher Murray had drawn opponents with tremendous ability and were going to struggle to hold them. Both our boys played excellent golf and fought hard but were beaten with Jake loosing 4 and 2 and Fletcher loosing 2 and 1.

It all then came down to the middle matches with team captain Bronte Newman just ahead for most of the day and eventually prevailing 2 and 1 while Josh Merrill was having the fight of his life against a very strong opponent. Josh won the 17th hole to go one up and although he lost the last hole, by squaring the match it enable KCC to get the half point necessary to win the day. Final score Kew Country Club (the Red Swarm) 3 1/2 Port Macquarie 2 1/2.

While it was a great victory for KCC, both teams are to be congratulated on the excellent golf they displayed under very trying conditions. In addition the sportsmanship and golf etiquette displayed by all 12 players is a credit to them all. So now it is on to the regional final against Grafton for the KCC team at a date and venue to be decided.

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