Date: April 14, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Vics topple giants to seal title

If you believe golf is played above the shoulders, the Victorian girls’ team is your proof.

The Vics left the highly fancied New South Wales and Queensland teams in their wake today, stunning each en route to sealing an early victory at the Girls’ Interstate Teams championship in South Australia.

And with a bye tomorrow morning, the party started early tonight with manager Jo Charlton promising her charges “plenty of ice cream and chocolate” in celebration.

The Vics entered the week ranked fifth of five teams by the Australian rankings, but that mattered little to the team of Olivia Kline, Stephanie Bunque, Cheerie Tan, Zara Woodbridge, Alex Hilliard and Soo Bin Park who triumphed all four times they played Fleurieu Golf Course at Mount Compass.

“It’s a really testing course and we just told the girls that pars would get the job done,” Charlton said.

“So we just talked about hitting fairways and greens and not much else and that’s exactly what they did.

“It’s incredible and the girls are justifiably rapt – we all are.”

Victoria hung tough in the morning match against NSW, with Park‘s 2&1 triumph over Antonia Gonzalez in the No.5 match setting the tone.

Then with undefeated Bunque and Tan leading the charge in the afternoon, the Big V took down the powerhouse Queenslanders 4-1 to give Victoria its first interstate title since 2007.

“That’s the beauty of matchplay, it’s anyone’s game,” Charlton said.

“They’ve worked really well all week and they’re a great little unit … we’re a happy little camp.

“All the girls have really improved in the past year, but we didn’t expect this.

“You always go in with a bit of faith and do the simple things well and we thought third would be great.

“But once you have that belief, anything is possible.”

Queensland, which has won six of the past eight titles, were confident after off a morning 5-0 win over WA and had Robyn Choi earn the first point with a 3&2 win over Woodbridge.

But after Hilliard and Tan saluted, Bunque set the team into celebration mode with a 2m par putt on the 17th hole to give her a 2&1 win over red-hot Karis Davidson and seal overall victory.

To cap it off, captain Kline then made a birdie on the 18th to beat Golf Australia national squad member Becky Kay 1-up in the No.1 match.

In the other afternoon match, NSW edged past WA 3-2, meaning that WA and SA will play for fourth tomorrow morning, with Queensland and NSW fighting for second.