Date: May 11, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

MEN: Maroons turn it on for trailblazers

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Queensland has powered the home state back into the men’s Interstate Series title reckoning with a crucial win over Victoria this morning.

The hosts regathered after a potentially sapping last-minute loss to New South Wales yesterday to down the defending champions 4.5-2.5 with some key results at both ends of the order at The Brisbane Golf Club.

New South Wales eventually fought off a gallant Tasmania 5.5-1.5 to remain unbeaten at 3-0, while Western Australia played without No.1 Curtis Luck, but was still too strong for Northern Territory by the same margin.

Luck was one of two key injuries in that contest with the WA Open champion rested with tight muscles in his forearm, although he will play in the afternoon match against Queensland.

The other injury was to promising Alice Springs youngster Mitch Gridley, who will miss the NT’s afternoon match with a sore back he suffered in a 7&6 loss to WA’s Fred Lee.

But the key result was for Queensland, which would have too big a hill to climb had it lost to Victoria.

Playing in front of a gallery including the original Queensland Interstate teams from 1961-63, the home team just wouldn’t be denied.

The improving Doug Klein overcame a sluggish start to power past Victorian Lukas Michel to set the ball rolling with a 5&4 win, a trend that continued with a 2&1 win for Charlie Dann over Kyle Michel.

The Vics then rallied with a point to Andrew Schonewille over Shae Wools-Cobb, then sent a scare through the home camp when talented youngster Cameron John eagled the last with a 15m bomb to win 1-up over Mitch Smith and square the contest.

And David Micheluzzi squandered a golden chance to ramp up the pressure when he carved his drive up the last out of bounds to lose the hole and halve his match with Charlie Pilon.

But the Queensland big guns behind them were not to be denied.

In an entertaining No.2 match, Blake Proverbs was conceded his birdie on the 8th (their 17th hole) by Zach Murray, who shook hands to give the Queenslander a 3&1 win.

And in the top match and battle of the skippers, Anthony Quayle held his nerve a couple of times as national squad member Brett Coletta came at him, eventually running out a comfortable 5&3 winner.

“It meant a lot to us to put on a show for the original Queensland teams that came out,” Quayle said.

“We wanted them to know it meant a lot to us that they were here and the boys have turned it around nicely for them after yesterday’s disappointment.

“We’re back in it now … that was a critical match for us.”

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