The Victorian Women’s State Team has pulled off a remarkable win in the final of the Interstate Series versus Western Australia at Royal Melbourne today. Playing the East Course, the Vics came out on top to seal the thriller 3.5-2.5 points.
It was a nerve-racking morning for both teams when play got under-way at 8:30am, Dayle Marshall the first to tee off for the Vics at number 6. Marshall pressed her opponent all day but couldn’t quite open up the points tally for the Vics, finishing 3&2 down.
It was the number 5, Bianca Ling who secured the first point for Victoria. After jumping out to a 3-hole lead through 9, she put her head down and took the victory 5&4. Her win held the biggest margin of the day and injected some confidence into the rest of the team, who were all fixed in fierce battles.
With 1 point in for both Victoria and Western Australia, the focus turned to Grace Daniell in the number 4 match. Daniell held a sizeable 3-up lead coming into the final 4 holes but dropped both the 16th and 17th to see her lead diminish to 1 by the time she stepped onto the 18th tee box . Daniell recollected and held her nerve on the final hole to close out her match 1-up against Alysha Ahnantakrishnan and secure the 2nd point for the Vics.
With 2 points safe, Victoria only needed one win or two halves to win the series – as they held top spot on the leaderboard coming into the final.
Olivia Kline was next to drive down the 18th in the all-square number 3 clash. Kline found herself in a difficult position in the rough between bunkers while her opponent, Hayley Bettencourt hit the green. When all looked unlikely, Kline delivered with solid putting to square her match and deliver another half for the Vics.
Next in line was Captain, Jo Charlton. Charlton was 1-down on the 16th but fought back to all square by the 18th. A wayward fairway shot jeopardised Charlton’s chances of winning the hole but just as everyone’s nerves soared, roars by Victorian supporters from the 17th green indicated Charlton’s 1 down loss would not play a factor.
The roars were for Julienne Soo, who holed a crucial 20-foot putt on the 17th to take her match 2&1 and secure the Gladys Hay Memorial Cup for Victoria.
“It was about a 20-footer, left to right down the hill so it wasn’t the easiest putt but all I really wanted to do was lag it down there. I wasn’t really expecting to hole it but as soon as I hit the putt I thought I had a chance and it just rolled in – I was a bit overwhelmed. I still can’t believe I holed that,” said Soo.
Soo played some of her best golf throughout the week, alternating at the number 1 position with Jo Charlton.
“Words can’t describe it right now, it’s a pretty good feeling for all of us. The girls all get along really well so you can’t ask for much more but a win is always good,” said Soo.
Meanwhile, Captain Jo Charlton referred to the win as the “best birthday present I could have asked for”. Charlton turned 26 on Thursday and can now boast her second Interstate Series win as captain.
“We’re pretty stoked, it’s been a great week. They’re a real happy camp and we’ve all got along really really well.
“It’s been a real fighting week. That’s probably been our word for the week – fighting. We’ve come away with a couple of really close contests where it looked like it was going to swing the other way.
We got a couple of halves up the 18th in some contests and that sort of snuck us over the line and got us into the final today.
“Every little half match, every shot counts out there,” Charlton said.
Charlton had only positive words to speak about all members of the Victorian Women’s team, in particular Julienne Soo and Olivia Kline, who she declared will be the future of this team.
“Julienne [Soo] has been on fire. She’s really pieced it together. It was super, she only lost 1 contest for the week.”
“Olivia [Kline] is only 17 and I think we’ll have her for a few more years.”
The win is Victoria’s 20th overall.
Click here for 2015 Women’s Interstate Series final highlights video.