Lack of killer instinct costs WA at interstate series

8th May 2024

Interstate Teams Matches

WA rounded out the Interstate Teams Matches on the Gold Coast with a defeat at the hands of NSW to finish fifth overall in the combined standings.

Isabella Leniartek was the only WA player to win a match outright in the series’ final match, although there was plenty to be admired in the fighting halves earned by Connor Fewkes, Michael Hanrahan Smith and Josiah Edwards.

The 5.5 – 2.5 loss left WA with just one win and one half from their five matches and ahead only of Tasmania in the standings – the same position as last year. While the results on paper make for grim reading, however, state coach Craig Bishop says that his players can hold their heads up high.

Only their first-day clash against South Australia resulted in a heavy defeat, something Bishop attributed to the team trying too hard to impose themselves on the series.

After that, a comfortable win over Tasmania was followed by an excellent halved match against eventual winners Victoria – a match that WA probably should have won – and a narrow defeat to hosts QLD, which also could have gone either way.

“I’m not too disappointed. We were super-competitive in most matches, but just couldn’t quite close things out when we had the chance,” Bishop told GolfWA.

“The team had the exact same issue in 2023 when they lost too many matches from winning positions. Moving forward, that’s something we’ll be looking to address, but we’re in a better place than the results suggest.”

He had nothing but praise for the spirit of camaraderie within the WA camp, adding: “This is the most united team I’ve ever been part of in over 25 years of coaching.”

Bishop believes that having more state squad members compete more often in state-based ranking events could be the key to success in future interstate series.

“I would encourage our players to compete more often in WA events to get them used to being in contention and winning,” he said. “That will help develop a winning mindset, while strengthening the local championships.”

Interstate Teams Matches

Michael Hanrahan Smith impressed on his WA debut, winning 3.5 points from 5 matches


WA’s silver linings

Amongst the positives to take from the series was the fact that all 10 WA players contributed points for the team throughout the week, while Jordan Doull and Michael Hanrahan Smith were stand-out performers.

Doull won three of his four matches, his only loss coming to VIC’s highly-regarded Jasper Stubbs, while WA debutant Hanrahan Smith overcame an opening-round defeat to post three wins and a half from his remaining four outings.

She may only have played twice, but young Isabella Leniartek also stepped up to the senior side in style, winning both her matches by wide margins to further underscore her great potential.

Victoria were the overall combined team champions after upsetting hosts QLD 6-2 in the final at Southport Golf Club. VIC also topped the men’s standings with four points from a possible five, while QLD won the women’s division. WA’s men finished fourth and the women finished fifth in their separate divisions.

View all the results and final standings here.

Match 5 vs NSW

Connor Fewkes halved with Jye Pickin
Michael Hanrahan Smith halved with Declan O’Donovan
Joseph Buttress lost 5&3 to Jye Halls
Josiah Edwards halved with Coby Carruthers

Abbie Teasdale lost 2&1 to Ella Scaysbrook
Amanda Gan lost 2&1 to Annika Rathbone
Ruby Cotton lost 6&5 to Rachel Lee
Isabella Leniartek won 4&3 against Sophie Eppelstun

Final score: WA 2.5 – 5.5 NSW

Images: GolfNSW/Australian Golf Media

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