An almost perfect performance on day two of the 2023 Australian Interstate Teams matches by the Blues has set the scent for a thrilling finale at St Michael’s Golf Club tomorrow.
The Blues, stung by a narrow loss to Queensland yesterday afternoon’s round-robin match, bounced back in the best way possible, with a solid win against Western Australia 5 1/2 – 2 1/2 this morning before following it up with a crushing 6 1/2 – 1 1/2 victory over arch-rivals, Victoria.
“Losing to Queensland stung a bit yesterday,” Blues Co-captain Jye Pickin said. “We knew we had to come out and dominate today and that’s what we did.”
Despite the result looking like a comfortable win, the WA match was a thriller for much of the morning, with the result in the balance until the final few holes. Thankfully for the Blues, the female quadrella all delivered, sweeping the West Australians to form the basis of the win.
VIDEO: Day Two Wrap
After a disappointing day yesterday, Avondale’s Rachel Lee responded best with a solid 3&1 win. At the same time, Annika Rathbone added another scalp to her growing resume, defeating Celine Chen 3&2.
June Song was never headed, running out a 4&2 winner over Erina Tan, while team co-captain Belinda Ji took care of the well credentialled Abbie Teasdale 3&2.
The men found their morning opposition a sterner test. However, a win from Declan O’Donovan and a vital half-point from Harrison Crowe over Joshua Greer ensured the Blues’ victory.
If the morning’s result against the sandgropers helped get the series back on course for the Blues, then the afternoon wins against arch-rivals Victoria certainly filled the hopes up of the team’s supporters that a series win remained a real possibility.
Again, a brace of impressive wins from the team’s debutants proved pivotal.
Rachel Lee dominated her southern rival, Molly Maclean, 7&6, in a one-sided affair, with wins also coming from Declan O’Donovan (2&1), Annika Rathbone (2&1), and Jye Pickin (5&4). Jeffrey Guan, who sat out the morning match, won 1 up, and Belinda Ji, who won her game on the last hole of the day against a plucky Kelley Marx, also 1 up.
Le was ecstatic with her back-to-back wins after her disappointing opening day.
“I learned a lot from yesterday, and I felt a lot better out there. I felt more energized and had a bit more self-belief. It felt great.”
“Having Charlotte (Perkins) on the bag helped me, too. Some of my putts were a bit too strong, and she kind of calmed me down a bit.”
Pickin was also especially pleased with his afternoon win and credited the help of teammate Daley Loumanis who filled in as caddy for the afternoon.
I knew I was playing well this morning but didn’t get the result.”
“Having Daley on the bag kept this afternoon kept the conversations off the golf course which was huge for me, plus that bit of local knowledge from him helped me work my way around the golf course.”
South Australia, courtesy of wins against Queensland and Western Australia still leads the series. However, tomorrow’s final match against the Blues could potentially set up a thriller of a final.
With an NSW victory, the teams could face each other twice on the same day for the title, a first for the series.