Western Australia booked a women’s Interstate Teams Series final berth in the most dramatic circumstances today, edging Queensland on the final hole.
After trailing 2-0 with Amy Walsh and Robyn Choi victorious for Queensland in the early matches, WA couldn’t afford to put a foot wrong with the winner to play Victoria in tomorrow’s final.
A dominant performance from Hira Naveed in the No.2 slot against national squad member Becky Kay gave the Sandgropers hope.
Then Hayley Bettencourt eventually got the better of Gennai Goodwin in a gripping No.3 match to square the ledger and leaving WA needing only a halve to advance on matches won.
But when Hannah Green and Karis Davidson, all square at the time, sent vastly different drives down the 10th on Royal Melbourne’s East Course – their final hole – the tide turned again.
Davidson split the middle of the fairway while West Australian Green, bulletproof for much of the week, found dense scrub left with a rare wayward drive to give the edge to Queensland.
Green was forced to chip out and then came the critical moment.
Davidson, needing to push the issue, attempted to reach the green in two and found a fairway trap to open the door.
Green responded by putting a superb three-wood on to the sloping putting surface and when Davidson flubbed her third into another greenside trap, the tide had turned irrevocably against Queensland.
Davidson then blasted on and could only two-putt for bogey to allow Green the luxury of a two-putt par for a 1-up victory.
“It was very nerve wracking,” Green said after the WA girls rejoiced greenside.
“She probably didn’t think that was going to happen after the tee shots.
“All I was trying to do was get a par. After I saw her hit her 3-wood into the fairway trap, I knew this was my chance to half and get us into the final.”
Green said her Mount Lawley clubmate Naveed had been critical to the victory.
“She’s been hitting it better and better every day. She made the putts she needed to and had a really good score out there,” Green said.
“That really motivated me because I saw how well she was going.”
It sets the stage for a rematch of Tuesday’s great clash with Victoria in tomorrow’s grand final after the hosts edged past South Australia 3-2 today.
Green said her team was excited for their chance to gain revenge.
“But we’re trying to keep a lid on it. Tomorrow’s another day so we’re trying to stay calm.”
Green will likely play against Victorian revelation Julienne Soo in the top match in the final, two days after Soo peeled off five consecutive birdies to storm past Australia’s top-ranked female amateur.
“She played really well on the back nine, and I couldn’t keep up,” Green said.
“I don’t really feel like I lost that match in that she just won it by playing some great golf.”
Queensland will face South Australia in the 3v4 playoff, while New South Wales, which dispatched Tasmania 5-0 this morning, will play the same state again tomorrow in the 5v6 playoff.