Victoria has secured its first national girls title since 2015, while unbeaten New South Wales is already assured of winning the boys interstate series title tomorrow.
The Victorians closed out the interstate teams junior title today, needing a victory in just one of the five matches to make it official.
Although Queensland flipped its team around and pulled off a surprise 3-2 victory in the match, the Victorians were already virtually safe with four victories in as many previous matches.
Ultimately for Victoria to lose its grip on the title, Western Australia needed to defeat New South Wales 5-0, but the NSW girls won that match 3-2.
Victoria drew an unbeaten performance for the week from The Heritage's Keeley Marx, who defeated Queensland’s Hannah Reeves today to complete a great week.
New South Wales No. 1 Belinda Ji also went undefeated across the week.
Victoria’s team of Imogen Jones, Kay Bannan, Piper Stubbs, Sheradyn Johnson, Keeley Marx and Tiana Wanigasekera took the title with four points, half a point ahead of Queensland as runner-up.
The boys title was sealed by New South Wales with one round still to be played at Sanctuary Cove’s Palms course tomorrow. NSW picked up a fifth victory this morning by beating Victoria in a contest that epitomised what Interstate golf is all about, highlighted by Harrison Crowe’s come-from-behind victory to seal the deal.
New South Wales won by three matches to two and then reached an unassailable position with a four-one victory over Northern Territory in the afternoon.
After Queensland and South Australia won their respective morning contests against Western Australia and the ACT, all eyes were on whether Victoria could defeat New South Wales for the first time all week and open the competition up with two rounds to play.
Mitchell Crabbe and Daniel Gill got the Victorians off to the perfect start after both scored last hole wins. New South Wales’s No. 2 Cory Lamb responded in eclipsing Phoenix Campbell four-and-three but with Victorian No 1. Jasper Stubbs and No. 3 Nathan Page both holding significant leads through nine holes, a Victorian win looked likely.
New South Wales’ long-hitting Lachlan Jones was the first to mount a comeback and after trailing by three holes at times during the match with Page, fought back to win on the 18th. The tension intensified as New South Wales No.1 Harrison Crowe, who was behind by five-holes with eight to play, went on a birdie run to eventually take the match down the final hole all square.
Crowe played a suburb iron to just over three metres at the 173-metre par three while Stubbs found the greenside bunker. Stubbs responded, splashing out to a metre from the hole. However, after Crowe burnt the edge of the hole with his birdie try, Stubbs missed his par saver to see the New South Welshman record a memorable and series-deciding win.
New South Wales team manager, Peter Ipkendanz was glowing as he reflected on the day’s events commenting: “For the boys that played and lost to Victoria last year that ended up costing us the title, this was pretty satisfying. It was Interstate golf at its best and all the players will benefit of being part of a contest like that. It’s also a relief to have the Series won and not have to worry about a tough contest coming up against Queensland tomorrow.’’
First played in 1958, the 2019 triumph by New South Wales represents the State’s 24th win in the competition that historically has involved almost all of Australia’s best male players on their pathway to golf stardom. Greg Norman was part of a victorious Queensland team in 1974; Geoff Ogilvy was in Victoria’s winning 1994 team and Jason Day when Queensland took top spot in 2004 to name but a few.
The 62nd playing of the Championship concludes tomorrow when the final round of contests commence at 7.30am.