Exciting finish to Junior Pennant Semi-Finals

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The semi-finals to the 2017 Junior Pennant season was played this afternoon at Sandringham Golf Club. Riverside took on Mornington Golf Club in the first semi-final clash out this afternoon with both teams only making one change each from their winning teams in the quarter finals. A strong win by Luke Ryan set a solid foundation for Riverside however Mornington bounced back by claiming matches 4 and 5 on the final hole. Kaitlyn Adam tied up the matches at 2-2 but strong wins by Navindu Gunasekera and George Carasavidis gave Riverside the victory and booked a place in tomorrow’s grand final at Eastern Golf Club.  

It was an enthralling finish to the second semi-final between Woodlands and the undefeated Riversdale side. With three matches already in, Riversdale was in the box seat with their number one match heading down the 18th hole with a one-hole advantage. However, an errant shot by Riversdale’s Lachlan Snart opened the door for Woodlands and a brilliant approach shot from Ben Stevens was all that was needed to give his teammates hope as they eagerly watched from behind the green.  Needing to make a 10-footer for birdie the 4-marker hailing from Darwin held his composure to drain the putt and take his match back to all square and to the 19th hole for a result. 

Stevens had the honour on the first playoff hole and bombed a drive to within 50 metres of the green. A wayward drive from Snart meant he would need to layup to about 60 metres for his third, however a sensation shot to about 6 feet applied the pressure back onto Stevens. Stevens responded with a more than respectable wedge shot to about 10 feet. Stevens narrowly missed his birdie attempt but taped in for par leaving Snart with a putt for the half. Unfortunately, it was yet another lip-out putt that that would give Woodlands their third match making both teams tied at 3 apiece. 

With the momentum, Woodlands selected Stevens for the sudden death playoff while Riversdale made a tactical move to play Josh Gong who would receive a stroke on the first playoff hole. A drive right down the middle from Gong put him in the box seat after Stevens pushed his drive into the right trees. Gong's approach shot finished short of the green and then his chip would only just make it onto the the putting surface. Stevens was feeling the pressue as he had an impeded swing by a tree nearby to his ball. Miraculously Stevens hit a career shot that was low enough to evade all the trees but then check on the green to give himself a legitimate birdie attempt. Whilst Stevens missed his birdie putt he would knock it within gimmie range for a par. Gong’s first attempt on the green was too strong leaving himself a tricky bogey putt coming back down the hill which would miss by the narrowest of margins to half the hole.

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