Victoria has selected strong squads for the 2018 Interstate Teams Matches in Adelaide as both the men’s and women’s sides hunt back-to-back titles from May 8-11.
Only one change has been made to the men’s outfit that produced a last gasp triumph over NSW in Perth last year, while a new look women’s side will represent Victoria in 2018.
As the only familiar faces returning from last year’s team, 18-year-old Kono Matsumoto and The National GC’s Montana Strauss will lead the way for the ladies at Glenelg GC.
The duo were instrumental in Perth last year which resulted in a sensational week and a stirring finish against NSW on the way to the Gladys Hay Memorial Cup.
Royal Melbourne GC’s Alizza Hetherington returns to the line-up for her second start after debuting in 2016, the 17-year-old to captain the Victorian senior team for the first time.
Kilmore GC’s Jessica Pickwick and Steffanie Vogel from Cobram Barooga have earned their first selections for Victoria, with Pickwick carrying the mantle as the oldest member of either team at 25-years-old.
Commonwealth GC’s Alex Hilliard will tee it up as a part of the senior team for the first time, the 18-year-old having already gained selection in Victoria’s junior squad on four occasions.
Like Hetherington twelve months ago, Steph Bunque was unavailable for selection after being hand-picked to represent Australia at the Queen Sirikit Cup in Thailand after an outstanding summer.
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For the men, a win in 2018 would be the fourth Interstate Series title in the past five years, after a star-studded outfit featuring Todd Sinnott, Lucas Herbert, Ryan Ruffels and more went back-to-back in 2014 and 2015.
Royal Melbourne’s Darcy Brereton will represent Victoria for the first time in May, the 23-year-old’s strong summer enough to earn him a spot on captain Zach Murray’s team.
Murray and a red-hot Dave Micheluzzi and will make their fourth consecutive appearances in the senior side, Micheluzzi climbing as high as World Number 9 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings in early 2018.
Will Heffernan, Kyle Michel and Lukas Michel will tee it up for the third consecutive year, that trio adding further experience to a men’s side that will boast a combined 29 appearances for Victoria at junior and senior level.
Incredibly, 24-year-old Heffernan is undefeated in the Interstate Series, winning all seven of his matches since debuting in 2016.
After debuting last year, former Australian Amateur champion Matias Sanchez and Metropolitan GC’s Blake Collyer have also locked down a spot on the plane to South Australia.
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The Australian Men’s and Women’s Interstate Teams Matches are played as a round robin match play competition between Victoria, NSW, WA, SA, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory (men’s only).
Following the round robin matches, the teams finishing first and second on the standings contest a final to determine the champions.
The round robin matches begin on May 8 at The Grange GC’s East Course for the men and at Glenelg Golf Club for the women.
The women’s final will be held on May 10, with the men’s final closing the tournament on May 11.