10 May 2023 | Amateur golf |

#AusInterstate set for thrilling conclusion

by Australian Golf Media

2023 Australian Interstate_Jack Buchanan_image

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South Australia remains undefeated through two days of the Australian Interstate Teams Matches, with New South Wales and Queensland also chasing a spot in the final and a range of permutations potentially playing out. Accounting for Queensland 4.5-3.5 in the morning session at St Michael’s Golf Club in Sydney, the South Australians, runners-up last year, proved too strong for Western Australia in the afternoon session. Their 5-3 victory was full of tight matches with the exception of the 7&6 victory of WA’s Celine Chen over Matilda Miels. South Australian men’s No.1 Jack Buchanan holed a long birdie putt at the second last hole of his match with Joshua Greer for a 2&1 victory. It sent his team off to dinner with a pep in their step and kept his unbeaten record intact. “A bit of a new team this year, couple of people that have been in the team, but we have bonded well as a team, rallied together when we had to,” Buchanan said. “I was 1-down at one point, but played really well coming in. Even just making that putt on the last and making sure I didn’t have to go down 18 was really good.” Also undefeated this week is New South Wales No.1 woman Belinda Ji, who has won all four of her matches to help her state to three points and level with Queensland chasing a spot in the final. Her match with Keeley Marx went down to the last hole in the afternoon session and formed part of a dominant 6.5-1.5 team win over the defending champions from Victoria. “It’s a really good feeling, all the matches were very close so I am really happy to just hang on until the end and get the point,” Ji said. “This is what Interstate is all about. You expect matches to be close coming down the stretch. You know there is going to be pressure but it is a really good feeling to pull through.” The afternoon win by NSW followed a 5.5-2.5 triumph over Western Australia in the morning session, where the halved match between WA’s Joshua Greer and St Michael’s member Harrison Crowe was a scrappy battle. Crowe missed an outside chance to win on the last after claiming the penultimate hole to get back to square. Crowe and Ji will lead the locals as they face South Australia on the final morning chasing a home win. “More of the same, we will still get together and have a chat as a team, but everyone knows what they are doing and we know we need to put our best foot forward to play SA tomorrow,” Ji said. Queensland suffered its first loss in the morning to the all-conquering South Australians in a close fought 4.5-3.5 fixture where the 2&1 win to Royal Adelaide’s Caitlin Peirce over Justice Bosio and half to Buchanan with Samuel Slater proved the difference. It was a much more enjoyable afternoon for the Queenslanders with a 6-2 margin over the Tasmanians highlighted by Blaike Perkins’ 5&4 performance against Greg Longmore. It was Slater who again provided the team a moment of momentum having defeated Crowe on day one. Facing Joey Bower, Slater rolled in a snaking birdie putt at the 18th for birdie to win 1-up, his entire team greenside cheering loudly when the putt hit the bottom of the cup. Queensland will face Victoria in the morning with the hope of a dominant performance to reach four points and a likely final berth. Teams who are tied on points revert to matches won to break the tie followed by matches won by each state’s No.1s if required. Both without a win as yet this week, Tasmania and Western Australia face off in the morning, however all eyes will be on the Victoria/Queensland and South Australia/New South Wales fixtures to see who will face off in the final, with the possibility that South Australia and New South Wales could go head-to-head twice in one day.

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