Date: January 15, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Aussies put one hand on Astor Trophy

Australia took a gigantic leap towards winning the Astor Trophy today, stopping the Great Britain and Ireland juggernaut in its tracks in Adelaide.

The Aussie quintet put one hand on the Commonwealth teams trophy at The Grange Golf Club with a commanding 5.5-1.5 win over a team that had breezed through its previous two matches in ominous style.

But courtesy of rock-solid efforts by Perth’s Hannah Green and the Gold Coast’s Becky Kay, the Australians were never in danger on day four of the five-day event.

A win, or anything up to a 5-2 loss to South Africa tomorrow will ensure the hosts win the time-honoured trophy for the fifth time in its 56-year history.

South Africa kept alive its hopes with a comfortable 5-2 victory over winless Canada in the day’s other match.

Golf Australia high performance manager Matt Cutler said the Aussie team “wouldn’t discuss the permutations” overnight.

“All we’ve talked about is wanting to stay undefeated – the rest will take care of itself,” he said.

“If we don’t beat South Africa but still win, that will be nice – but we definitely want to end a great week on a high note.”

The Aussies reshuffled their foursomes pairings and came up with their first win in that format for the week when Green and Kay took out Charlotte Thomas and Hayley Davis 1-up.

That win came on the heels of the GB&I team upstaging Shelly Shin and Jenny Lee 2-&-1 to ensure the afternoon singles began with the match level.

Aussie No.1 Shin led most of the way against Bronte Law, who close with a pair of birdies after being one down with two to play. But under fierce pressure, Shin canned her own birdie putt on the last to halve the hole and match.
Green then began her singles against Chloe Williams indifferently until taking complete control from the eighth tee, playing flawless back-nine golf to hammer her opponent 4-&-3.

Kay was equally impressive, leading Connie Jaffrey throughout in a 4-&-2 demolition that continued her outstanding run and belying her relative inexperience at international level.

Hometown hero Jenny Lee was again solid in beating Thomas 2-&-1 to seal victory, then Brisbane’s Gennai Goodwin put the icing on a very sweet cake with a similar scoreline over Davis to have the Aussie team high-fiving for the second time in three days on either side of yesterday’s bye.

It was a disappointing end for the GB&I team that has a bye tomorrow, so bookended its two thumping wins with losses to New Zealand and Australia.

The Kiwis face Canada tomorrow, but all focus will be on the Australia-South Africa match on the West Course’s first tee from 8am Adelaide time.