Team WA faces a tough three days in NSW to mount a title challenge in the Australian Interstate Teams Matches but confidence in the team is high, according to WA captain Connor Fewkes.
On paper, NSW looks to be the team to beat, with home advantage at Sydney’s St Michael’s Golf Club bolstered by the presence of amateur heavyweights Jeffrey Guan and Harrison Crowe – who made his US Masters debut in April – in their line-up.
However, having finished third last year by only a narrow to SA and champions Victoria, the WA team has adopted an ‘in it to win it’ mindset and have what it takes to contend, says Fewkes.
“Winning this week would represent a great effort but if we play close to our potential then we’ve got a realistic chance,” Fewkes told GolfWA. “Our first three matches are against Queensland, Victoria and NSW. Those will be tough matches to win but if we can pick up some points we’ll be in a strong position.”
With winds of up to 40kph expected at the coastal links for the first two days of competition, Fewkes believes this could be advantageous for his team. “We’re very used to playing in windy conditions in WA, so if the wind stays up like it has been in practice that’ll be good for us,” said the Goldfields GC member.
Team Coach Alex McKay echoed Fewkes’ positivity, adding: “Learning to adjust to the course always takes a bit of time, but the players’ games are in a good place and, more importantly, the players themselves are in a good place. We have a very strong culture within the team set-up and we have a realistic chance of being in contention.”
Alongside Fewkes, WA’s men’s team features Jordan Doull (Mount Lawley), debutant Tom Addy (Joondalup) and Australian international Josh Greer (Joondalup) alongside junior sensation Joe Buttress (WAGC).
The women’s team is headlined by WA Amateur champion Abbie Teasdale (Royal Fremantle), with WA team stalwarts Celine Chen and Amie Phobubpa (both Joondalup) also in the line-up. They are joined by Erina Tan and Amanda Gan (both Mount Lawley), who step up from the junior team to represent WA at senior level for the first time.
The Australian Interstate Teams Matches take place from May 9-11 in a mixed-team, round-robin format event, where four men and four women play singles matches against golfers from rival states.
WA tee off their tournament against QLD on Tuesday morning, and tackle Victoria in the afternoon. NSW and SA are the opposition on Wednesday with a final group match against TAS on Thursday morning. The top two teams in the standings contest the overall final that afternoon.
WA finished third overall in the 2022 teams matches, with both the men’s and women’s sides finishing second in their respective divisions with 2 wins, 2 ties and 1 loss.
WA (pictured below): Celine Chen, Amanda Gan, Amie Phobubpa, Erina Tan, Abbie Teasdale, Tom Addy, Joseph Buttress, Jordan Doull, Connor Fewkes, Joshua Greer
TAS: Jorjah Bailey, Zahara Lemon, Hallie Meaburn, Mackenzie Thomas, Mackenzie Wilson, Joey Bower, Ronan Filgate, Ryan Thomas, Greg Longmore, Jack Tregaskisjago
NSW: Belinda Ji, Annika Rathbone, Charlotte Perkins, June Song, Rachel Lee, Harrison Crowe, Jeffrey Guan, Declan O’Donovan, Daley Loumanis, Jye Pickin
QLD: Justice Bosio, Sarah Hammett, Shyla Singh, Hannah Reeves, Kate McFarlane, Quinnton Croker, Sam Slater, Tyler Duncan, Blaike Perkins, Lincoln Morgan
VIC: Amelia Harris, Keeley Marx, Jazy Roberts, Molly McLean, Jesika Clark, Jasper Stubbs, Connor McDade, Phoenix Campbell, Toby Walker, Nathan Page
SA: Caitlin Peirce, Raegan Denton, Imogen Jessen, Matilda Miels, Amelia Whinney, Jack Buchanan, Kade Bryant, Harry Coote, Sam Earl, Kyle Hayter
You can follow live scoring of the event on the Golf Australia website. You’ll also be able to keep up with WA’s progress on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds.