Date: May 04, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Murray’s terriers primed for #IntSeries

Zach Murray is a proud man, not least about the Big V he’ll don in next week’s Interstate Series.

He led the Victorian boys’ team to glory in 2014 at the junior version and, having been handed the captaincy again in Perth, he’s keen to land a rare double.

And while some shy away from pressure and expectations, Murray is not afraid to speak of the goals he has set personally – and for his team.

“Being captain means a fair bit, actually – I did it with the boys and I’m not sure how many have captained both, so I was pretty chuffed to get the call,” the effervescent 20-year-old said.

“Interstate is my favourite event of the year. I just smile thinking about it because I just love the team environment and being with all the boys.”

Part of that for Murray is the pride in pulling on the Victorian shirt – a blessing for its history and culture, but an annual target for some other states.

“Of course everyone wants to win, but we definitely have a target on our back being Victorians. We are sort of like (AFL club) Collingwood – you either love or hate us and that’s just fine with me,” Murray said.

“It’ll definitely be mentioned in pre and post-game chats with the boys.

“I captained the junior team a few years ago when we cleaned them up and representing the Big V is something that I think is pretty cool. Being captain (of the men’s team for) the first time is pretty awesome – I can’t wait to get it on.”

In a team that he says is “probably the third best on paper”, Murray is confident that the Vic squad’s even nature and depth with help it prevail.

“But I still reckon we can lift the trophy. If we can get into the final and give ourselves that chance, we’ll win it, I reckon.

“A lot of guys have a bit of grunt about them, like (Australian Amateur champion) Matias (Sanchez), Dave (Micheluzzi), (Australian Junior champion) Cam (John) and the rest of the boys – they’re a bunch of little terriers who’ll go all day and keep fighting.

“I give us a red-hot chance. We’re a pretty young side, but they’ve all shown they can perform at a high level.”

It’s that elite competition that inspires Murray the most – especially heading to Perth with the host state among those he thinks will fight out the title.

And Murray is throwing his hand up for arguably the biggest challenge of the week: taking down the white-hot Min Woo Lee on his home turf.

“I’m happy to play anywhere in our order and I think it’s got a lot of flexibility, but I’d really like to play No.1 against WA because I rate Min Woo very highly,” Murray said with clear respect of his good mate and the reigning US Boys’ Amateur champ.

“I grew up playing to protect my one point, and that’s what I’ll do wherever I play in the order – and I’d love to have that challenge against Min.

“I see it in his eyes. I know what he’s thinking sometimes and when he’s playing well, he’s fearless. He’s got a fantastic swing, works hard and golfing blood runs in the family, so I hope we get to play.”

Murray, fresh off his first ace playing pennant for Commonwealth at Kingswood, said the competition would be fierce at any point in the order.

“If you look at New South (Wales), they’ll throw Trav (Smyth) or Harro (Harrison Endycott) or Josh (Armstrong) at us, or Lachie Barker or Matty Lisk for South Australia, or Charlie (Dann) and Shae (Wools-Cobb) for Queensland … there’s good players right through.

“That’s why it’s such a fun week.

“I just enjoy match play and against the best players. Playing my best golf against the best players is going to benefit my golf in future.”