Pennants teams do battle on neutral turf

GOLF

WINNING on the road is always tougher than winning at home, and to win this year’s Central West District Golf Association pennants crown, teams will have to do it the hard way all year.

No team in any division will play on its home course throughout the 2014 pennants seasons following changes to the draw.

Beginning on Sunday, February 2, teams will play each other on neutral ground in a bid to level what CWDGA secretary Peter Mitchell described as a “lop-sided” 2013 tournament.

“We tried to do things differently this year,” he said.

“We found the teams at home won very easily last season, so we’ve moved each round to neutral ground.”

As it was last season, all divisions are split into two pools.

The top two sides from each pool will progress to the semi-final stage of the tournament.

In 2014, all four divisions are split into two groups of five.

Dubbo, Bathurst, Wellington, Ex-Services and Mudgee will contest pool A of division one and Duntryleague, Wentworth, Forbes, Blayney and Parkes will face-off in pool B.

The first round will be in Dubbo and Duntryleague.

Manildra and Cowra will also contest this year’s pennants tournament, playing out of division four and division three respectively.

Claiming the division one title with a 4-1 win over Wellington in last year’s final, Duntryleague is also the defending champion in divisions four, while Parkes and Bathurst will be hoping to go back-to-back in divisions two and three respectively.

Mitchell believes Duntry will again be tough to beat.

“If you add all of their handicaps together, they don’t have a handicap,” he said.

“All of the heavy hitters are back. Wellington will be strong as well, with the Cusacks and one other ... Bathurst will be another strong side.”

Picking a winner in the lower divisions wasn’t as easy however.

“They’re a lottery,” he said.

“You just never know who’s going to be in those sides.”

The first round of the 2014 CWDGA pennants will begin on February 2.

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