There was a time when, at 22, you’d have still been learning the ropes at the women’s Interstate Series.
But times have changed, just ask Gennai Goodwin.
Goodwin, originally from Mossman in far north Queensland, but now a veteran of Brisbane life after a stint playing collegiate golf for Texas Tech, well and truly has the state’s reins.
Without Becky Kay and Karis Davidson, both on Australian duties at the Queen Sirikit Cup in China this week alongside Victoria’s Alizza Hetherington, it’s a vastly different Maroons team to the one that rolled to the title convincingly on home soil at Royal Queensland last year.
Only Dee Dee Russell, 20, and Goodwin remain, the latter in her fourth time #IntSeries and remarkably, as Queensland captain for the third consecutive time.
And that leadership role is an honour she clearly relishes having taken the job as manager of the Queensland team at the recent Junior Interstate Series in the Illawarra.
“It was a great experience and a great way to get to bond with four of the girls I’m playing with this week,” the affable Goodwin said.
“In fact, there are plenty of youngsters in all the teams this week, so it’s going to be really interesting to see how it all pans out.”
There is no more stark evidence of this assertion than the New South Wales team which, remarkably, features the same six players who took the young Blues to the Junior Interstate title at Port Kembla last month.
So talented is the young NSW team that Goodwin rates them among the chief threats to Queensland’s crown.
“Or maybe Victoria, or maybe Western Australia, who knows? That’s the thing about this week, it will make every point in every match absolutely critical,” Goodwin said.
“Without Karis and Becky, we have a chance for a couple of new players to get a taste of playing at senior level and I suppose, just the same as it is for the other states, that means there’s a few unknowns.
“It should be fascinating.”
Goodwin, fresh from practice rounds at a Royal Fremantle course she described as “in magnificent condition”, said the mission of her Queensland team would be to fight for every half-point.
“I really think it could be that close that you won’t be able to concede any point at any time. If you’re 1-down playing the last, I think everyone will have to knuckle down more than they normally might in a team situation if you’d already won (overall).”
And Goodwin is aware that her form will be a factor in her team’s fortunes.
“I’ve been hitting it well on the range, so hopefully I can bring it out on to the course,” she said.
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