Date: April 27, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Vics claw past title rivals

Victoria has flexed its muscle early in the men’s Interstate Teams Championship.

The hosts handed fellow contender Queensland a 5.5-1.5 loss to underline their title credentials at a wintry Huntingdale Golf Club.

But despite the lopsided scoreline, most matches were keenly fought with four 1-up victories the key for Victoria.

“It was great to see the guys stick at it like that – the conditions weren’t easy … so to beat Queensland was a great result for us,” said Victorian captain Ben Eccles, who battled back from 2-down early against Simon Viitakangas to win on the final hole.

Only putting maestro Jake McLeod flew the Queensland flag successfully, jumping out to an early lead against national squad member Brett Coletta and coasting home 3&2.

Thomas Power-Horan and David Micheluzzi both fought superbly to get the better of Shae Wools-Cobb and Anthony Quayle late in their respective matches.

Victorian Frazer Droop outpointed Jack Sullivan 4&3, while in the battle of the heavyweights, Cory Crawford and Lucas Herbert halved their No.2 shootout, while Ryan Ruffels won an epic battle with Taylor Macdonald 1-up to seal the deal.

In the other men’s match, Tasmania looked as though it could cause a boilover against South Australia with No.1 Greg Longmore up on Masters participant Antonio Murdaca early in their match.

But as Murdaca took control on the front nine (their match started on the 13th) to win 2-up, his South Australian teammates rallied to halve the match 3.5-3.5 with only Sam Rawlings’ 1-up win in the No.2 match saving half a point for Tasmania.