WOMEN: NSW, Vics set up #IntSeries prelim

Stephanie Bunque
Stephanie Bunque tees off the 18th hole during day 2 at Royal Queensland.

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Queensland will face the winners of a pseudo preliminary final between NSW, setting up a blockbuster final day at Royal Queensland Golf Club.

The Maroons are yet to lose a contest and are looking very ominous for tomorrow afternoon’s final after beating Victoria in such convincing fashion.

The second placed NSW team has the advantage over Victoria thanks to a 3-1 win-loss record compared to 2-2 for the Vics. Interestingly, both sides share a 12-8 for and against record, meraning Victoria can take second spot from any winning margin tomorrow.

Victoria’s lone win today against Queensland came from Stefanie Bunque in the number 1 spot against Karis Davidson, and it proved decisive by eliminating Western Australia from contention for a finals spot.

 “I‘m feeling confident in my own game at the moment,” said Bunque after her win over Davidson.

“I’m hitting it pretty well and putting solid – the ball is rolling well and some are going in the hole so that’s getting me up there.

“[To win] was awesome. I actually played her last year at the junior series and won 2&1, so I’m two from two matches and they’ve been pretty close -- I’m rapt to get over the line today. It was a really tough match so it’s good to have the win.”

Bunque’s win was set up by an approach to inches after Davidson set the bar high with her approach, allowing Bunque and the Victorian team to end the day on a high note.

“After Karis’ shot hit the pin I thought I better zone in a bit here, so my caddy Todd took me back a little bit,” said Bunque.

“I went through the pre-shot again and looked at all the numbers. I had a nice solid pitching wedge in at about 106m, and I hit the number and it turned out alright.”

Victoria started the series with a tough loss to Western Australia, but fought back to be in an excellent position to make the final -- and Bunque expects her team to bounce back tomorrow.

“I’m pretty happy with the team, they’re all pretty solid and if we can focus a little bit more I think we’ll be right,” said Bunque.

“I think at the moment we might be a little bit rocky coming off a defeat, but we’ll regroup tonight and sit down and have a chat and discuss what we need to do to win tomorrow.”

On the other hand, NSW are flying with back to back 4-1 victories over Tasmania and South Australia, and team member Doey Choi feels that run can continue into Thursday.

“We’re pretty confident only needing a square tomorrow to meet Queensland in the finals,” said Choi.

“Hopefully we can have a great win and play in the afternoon, everyone’s playing really solid golf, and we had two big wins today which should boost our confidence and hopefully we can go out there and play some great golf.”

Choi won her opening match convincingly with a 6&5 margin over Zahara Lemon, but felt her performance with the flat stick waned in her 3&2 loss to Ella Adams of South Australia.

“I played pretty solid out there, but struggled a little bit with my putting,” said Choi.

“I putted well yesterday which gives me confidence, I just mis-read a few putts which I left out there but hopefully tomorrow I can have few go my way.”

Tomorrow’s remaining matches between WA and SA, and Queensland and Tasmania may be dead rubbers, but their results could still shape the finals standings.

Queensland could lose top spot of they drop the ball against Tasmania and NSW surge against Victoria, while WA can still take third spot.

Tasmania are also fighting to keep their slim 1 match advantage over SA in the battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

The Tasmanians may have struggled with their depth in some matches but their best has matched the best of the mainland states.

Three of their 5.5 points coming at the hands of their #1 seed Sarah Johnstone who has defeated the number 1 seeds from New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria this week.

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