Queensland wins Men's Interstate Series

The Queensland Men's team of Tim Hart, Gavin Fairfax, Brett Rankin, Cameron Smith, Marika Batibasaga, Blake McGrory, Adam Gemmell and Chris Wood have secured the Australian Interstate Series with a 4 1/2 match win over defending champions, Victoria, at Oxley Golf Club in Brisbane. Since the opening matches last Monday, Queensland held the lead and never looked back with the series by the second round developing into a two horse race with Victoria. Wednesday's 3rd round had the Victoria matched against the Queensland with Queensland winning the encounter 7&5, giving the home state what would be an unbeatable margin of 4 1/2 matches leading into the final two days. There were some stellar individual performances from the Queensland team with Brett Rankin playing number 2 and Marika Batibasaga at number 5, remaining undefeated in the singles for the series. Cameron Smith won four of his five singles matches and narrowly missed remaining undefeated after Western Australian, Brady Watt won their final day match, 1-up, in a cliffhanger and arguably the best match of the final day after Smith made a late charge and missed a shortish putt on the final hole that would have seen the match squared. Western Australia's efforts in defeating Queensland by a 6&5 margin in the final match had a sobering effect, yet with only requiring three matches to win the series going into the encounter and Victoria needing a whitewash against South Australia, Queensland became worthy winners of the Australian Interstate Series title, which the team last won in 2004. The New South Wales team looked impressive on paper and will certainly be a force in coming years with the likes of emerging young guns Matt Stieger, Brett Drewitt and Jake Higginbottom making their respective contributions to the series. Stieger and Drewitt won recently in the USA at the Pacific North West Amateur, the only Australian victories this season abroad, and secured fine wins during the series with Drewitt accounting for Jordan Sherratt, 1-up, and Stieger defeating Ryan McCarthy, 3&2. New South Wales finished the series in 3rd position followed by Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. The top-order matches produced some interesting results throughout the series with Victoria's Kieran Pratt demolishing Queensland's Tim Hart, 5&4, during the opening round, then went onto win against Lincoln Tighe, 1-up, with the world number 13 and Australia's highest ranked amateur, then squaring his matches against Ryan McCarthy and Brody Ninyette. The Pratt / Sherratt match on Friday was a classic encounter between two of our best amateurs with Sherratt winning, 2&1. Daniel Beckmann, a two-time National Trial winner and runner-up to Scott Arnold at the 2009 Australian Amateur, accounted for Gavin Fairfax, 1-up, and Matt Stieger, 5&3, with the Victorian also remaining undefeated in the series. Kalem Richardson from Tasmania continued his fine form that he showed this season in the US, winning all his singles matches in the series, that included a 2&1 wins over Brett Drewitt and Luke Bluemink.

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