A solid bounceback was required after lunch and the NSW Blues duly delivered with a 5 1/2 to 2 1/2 win over Tasmania in the afternoon round of the Interstate Teams matches at Sorrento Golf Club.
Harry Bolton led the way with a dominant display, rolling in several chances on the way to a 7 / 5 win over his opponent, Mark Schulze.
Chris Fan also made amends for his morning loss, waltzing his way to a 4/3 win. Also joining him in the winner’s circle was his Avondale teammate, Jye Pickin, who also claimed his first win for the series, 3/2.
Kelsey Bennett and Brielle Mapanao also kept their winning records intact. Bennett comfortably accounted for Hollie Meaburn 3/2, while Mapanao is proving herself to be a bit of a senior-level revelation with a 4/2 win over Jonah Bailey.
After being brought down to earth by South Australia in the opening match, Serhan admitted that the result had stung, and the team had learnt a valuable lesson from the loss.
“We were confident, but the South Australians played really well.
“They had the run of play, they made the putts, and we burned the edges.
“It just goes to show in interstate series, there are no easy wins. You have to work hard no matter who you’re playing.”
After the morning’s wake up call, Serhan said this afternoon’s bounceback was pleasing on several fronts.
“We certainly needed the win,” Serhan said.
“We need to step up, and a few stepped up, Harry Bolton in particular. I’d say he was a standout. To be three under and bogey-free this afternoon was outstanding.”
“He chipped in on the second hole of the day and really just took the wind out of his opponent’s sails.
“Jye Pickin had a fantastic result this afternoon too. He played some incredibly solid golf.”
Serhan was also full of praise for the women on their afternoon effort, particularly Briele Mapanao in her first interstate contest.
“I think she’s maybe not quite the surprise package, but young Brielle Mapano was solid all day. It was just fantastic to watch the Silent Assassin go to work the way she did, and hopefully, that form will continue for the rest of the week.
The Blues face a daunting second day, beginning with Victoria tomorrow morning, followed by the impressive Western Australian outfit in the afternoon. With South Australia accounting for Victoria in today’s afternoon match, Serhan said tomorrow’s results would be vital for the team’s chances of progressing to Thursday’s final.
“We’ve got a tough day tomorrow against Victoria in the Morning and Western Australia in the afternoon.
“The team will take some confidence out of today’s afternoon round and how they stepped up.
They played some excellent under par golf. It wasn’t like it was handed to them just then.”
12.50pm: Blues go down to SA in a thriller
The NSW Team has suffered an unexpected first round loss against a plucky South Australian unit in the opening round match of the Australian Interstate Teams Matches at Sorrento Golf Club on the Mornington Peninsula.
The affair was a tight one for most of the morning, with Kelsey Bennett (2 holes) and Brielle Mapanao ( 4/3) doing their bit by securing vital points in the women matches. Belinda Ji and Hayley McNeill found their opponents too much, however, with JI losing one the last, while McNeill went down 2/1.
The men’s matches were all tight affairs, but sadly, results which looked promising midway through the back nine eventually evaporated.
Harry Bolton and Harrison Crowe could only managed halves, while Chris Fan, who appeared to have his opponents measure with just a few holes to playlist his match on the last. Jye Pickin, who had a handy two hole lead at one stage in his match eventually had no answer for his opponent Billy Cawthorne, also losing 2/1.
The afternoon matches against Tasmania are underway.