It's Blair Riordan's title this time
Story by: Nelson Mail - Photo by: By Chris Symes
Blair Riordan dashed his older brother's hopes of a fourth straight title after securing a one-stroke victory in the Golden Bay open golf championship in Takaka on Sunday.
Riordan reclaimed the title he last won in 2007, beating his brother Sean by a single shot. Both players carded two-under-par rounds of 68 on Sunday. Sean had also won the 2006 title.
Blair finished with a five-under two-round total of 135 on the par 70 layout after Saturday's opening round of 67, completed in wet conditions. Sean carded a 68 on Saturday for a two-round total of 136.
Blair's win was sparked by holing out on the 17th in the first round for an eagle three from an impossible position left of the green. That catapulted him into a one-shot lead at three-under.
In the second round, he played steadily around the first nine to build a three-shot lead at five-under after 27 holes, then hung on around the second nine with four scrambled pars and a birdie in the last eight holes to win by one shot.
Tee to green, Sean played well, but he missed seven makeable putts of three metres or less in the second 18 holes.
There was drama when he holed an 8m putt on the 16th to draw within one shot, but his chance to tie evaporated when a 3m put lipped out on the last green.
Blair's win also continued the 20-year-old right-hander's impressive recent form after reaching the semifinals of last month's national amateur matchplay championships at Russley.
Riordan was beaten on the 20th at that event in an epic battle with Hamilton's Matt Perry, who went on to win the title.
While the Riordans once again dominated the weekend's overall proceedings, the tournament's best single round belonged to their fellow Tasman representative player and 2004 champion, Nick Van Leeuwen, who carded a four-under 66 on Sunday.
However, Van Leeuwen's two-over-par 74 in the first round saw him finish third on even par.
Well over 100 millimetres of rain over the preceding week meant soggy conditions underfoot, with light rain falling at times on both days.
Despite the rain, conditions were warm and calm, with more than 140 people from the Tasman district and Canterbury contesting the 36-hole tournament.
Takaka's Simon Page won the best overall nett on 130, with his clubmate Len Trent scoring 80 points to win the overall stableford prize. Jaimee-Lee Moses won the women's gross on 161.
Results - senior gross: Sean Riordan 136; nett: Bruce Thompson 140 on c/b; stableford: Tom Dasler 68 on c/b; intermediate gross: Dave Win 162; nett: Bob Nicolle 138; stableford: Derek McKay 69 on c/b; junior gross: Larry Moses 171; nett: Doug Collis 137; stableford: Saxon Balck 69 on c/b; women's gross: Jaimee-Lee Moses 161; nett: Sue James 145; stableford: Fiona Shearer 60.