Victoria win Men's Interstate Series

BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2008 Australian Interstate Teams Matches | Round Five | 05 Sep 2008

The Victorian men’s team has won the 2008 Australian Interstate Teams Series over New South Wales after securing in the morning rounds six of their seven singles matches against Queensland.

The Victorian team of Matt Griffin, Josh Younger, Leighton Lyle, Tom Prowse, Bryden MacPherson, Daniel Beckmann and Luke Bleumink set up this series title with a convincing 7&4 win yesterday over defending champions New South Wales.

They entered the final day confident knowing that the toughest match they’d encounter in the series was in the bag and they could then be aggressive against the winless Queensland team, who’d struggled all week.

Victoria ended the morning session of singles matches knowing they’d won the Series and that the rest of the teams would play for minor placings in the afternoon.

After the luncheon break severe rain storms ripped through the Monash Country Club on Sydney’s northern beaches, making conditions testing and frustrating.

The deluge was consistent and the notorious Monash greens became victims of the elements and putting simply became impossible. Many stopped playing, others wondered in amazement as to why matches were continuing after Victoria already had the series won.

A brief deliberation by the Championship Play Committee delivered the outcome all players wanted with the afternoon foursome matches abandoned around 3.00pm.

It was a sensible decision, as was playing the singles matches in the morning. Everyone was relieved and eager to get inside the clubhouse to get dry, some players even wanted to “body-surf” the greens. Match Officials advised then quickly that it would not be in their best interest to play with the otherwise pristine Monash greens, regarded by many as the hardest in Sydney.

With the final day’s play being decided solely on the basis of the morning’s singles matches, Victoria won the series, 36 1/2 matches to New South Wales’ 30 1/2.

South Australia finished third with their number one player Jordan Sherratt undefeated in the series with wins over New South Wales’ Tim Stewart 2&1, Queensland’s Ray Beaufils 3&2 and Victoria’s Matt Griffin, 1-up. For Sherratt it had been a week of exquisite victories against many of the country’s best amateurs. His performance surely must have attracted the attention of the national squad selectors.

Victoria won the Australian Interstate Series last in 2003 and were rightfully savouring their win on foreign soil this evening at the presentation ceremony.

“The team pulled together well this week,” said Martin Joyce, the Victorian coach who made his team take an unusual bonding secession of having evening swims in the ocean at Dee Why in near freezing conditions.

If anything this deliberate strategy of self discipline enable the Victorians to acclimatise to the conditions today.

“Where we probably played the strongest was in our middle order all week,” said Joyce, a former Victorian state player.

“The guys pulled together this week with some fantastic results. It was a great position to be in between three to eight, because each night we could not decide who to put in there for the next day, as the guys were playing too well.”

“It’s a great achievement from arguably one of the strongest teams we’ve had.”

Leighton Lyle, the younger brother of Nationwide Tour player Jarrod, was another standout performer for Victoria finishing the series undefeated in his singles encounters. Tasmania’s Ryan McCarthy and Michael Raseta from New South Wales also finished the series undefeated.

The Victorians all week were particularly strong in their middle order with Lyle at number three winning all five of his singles matches, Ashley Umbers playing number seven, winning four out of his four matches, as well as Luke Bleumink. The Victorian top order of Matt Griffin and Josh Younger also won critical matches when needed, in particular Matt Griffin’s 5&4 win over Tim Stewart yesterday to set up today’s win.

NSW in contrast struggled during the week with some of its top order singles matches. Grant Scott and Matthew Raseta both had a stellar series.

If there was one notable aspect in this series, it was the emergence of a number of up-coming younger starts with Sherratt, Jager, McCarthy, Lyle and Raseta upstaging a number of more seasoned Australian amateur notables. The depth of Australian male amateur golf continues to look promising, as these series again produced golf of the highest calibre.

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    About the Author: Anthony Powter

    Anthony brings a vast array of experience having covered the world's biggest golf Tours. An experienced photojournalist, his aim is to bring golf to life with articles of interest coupled with stunning photography.

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