The stage is set for an epic conclusion to the Boys’ Interstate Teams championship with four states still right in the hunt.
A tense afternoon of Round 4 matches left more questions than it answered at Links Lady Bay today after the top four teams remarkably shared the spoils.
Queensland and New South Wales could each have put the other on the back foot, but fought out a tense halved match with skipper Douglas Klein winning 3&2 in the No.1 battle with Jason Hong.
In theory that could have opened the door for Victoria, but a determined Western Australia had different ideas.
The Sandgropers had unexpectedly halved their morning match with South Australia, but when Connor Faulds and Cameron Jones beat Vics Aiden Didone and Matias Sanchez, respectively, an afternoon upset looked on.
But Cameron John beat Ben Ferguson 1-up and captain Ryan Ruffels trounced Min Woo Lee 6&5, the Vics salvaged half a point.
The result left Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria tied on 3.5 of a possible four points, with WA poised on three.
And host South Australia remains a mathematical chance on 1.5 after beating ACT this afternoon, while Tasmania opened its account with a 4-1 win over the Northern Territory.
But it’s so close at the top, WA manager Darren Goss couldn’t split the teams.
“Honestly it’s so close and it’s such high quality, you can’t call it,” Goss said tonight.
“It’s a really good matchplay course with an open nine for the big hitters and a tighter one for the thinkers, so it’s just really close.”
WA was extremely close to upsetting the fancied Victorians with John rolling in a 5m bomb on the last hole of his match, the sixth at Lady Bay, for his 1-up victory over Ferguson.
“It was an amazing finish. But it was like that all the way around with most of the boys,” Goss said.
“At one stage, Fred Lee (and Josh Hetherington) were about 35 feet away from the pin for their birdie putts and couldn’t decide who was away.
“They tossed a coin to decide, then both of them just rolled in their putts. It was unbelievable golf.”
Goss said his WA charges were confident they could continue on with matches to come against NSW and Queensland among their final three rounds.
“All the boys played brilliant. Everyone’s confident and it’s matchplay, so anything can happen, especially the way it’s working out.”