WRAP: Smyth puts NSW men top at #IntSeries








Travis Smyth won a test of nerves in an enthralling battle with Zach Murray to ensure New South Wales finished the opening day of the men’s Interstate Series in Perth with the only 2-0 record.

The final pairing’s high-class contest fittingly went down to the last, where the New South Welshman sunk a tricky 10-footer to secure a 1up win in front of his watching team-mates.

It was a nervy finale to a 4.5-2.5 win that has New South Wales in pole position to reach Friday’s final at Melville Glades, albeit only after the opening day, after they earlier cast aside Tasmania 6.5-0.5.

Victoria opened their campaign with a 4-3 win against highly-touted hosts Western Australia to set the stage for their afternoon clash.

It didn’t fail to deliver with four of the seven matches going to the last as conditions became more tricky as the Perth’s feted wind started to pick up.

Blake Windred’s surprisingly convincing 6&5 success over reigning Australian Amateur champion Matias Sanchez was about the only soft spot in a contest that always looked set to be decided by fine margins.

That was none better illustrated by Cameron John, who saw a putt somehow fail to drop on the ninth, before halving his match with Harrison Endycott.

Wins by David Micheluzzi and Lukas Michel, after they also won in the morning, ensured all eyes turned to the match between Smyth and Murray as they went down the last.

Murray had this chance only to leave a long-range putt short and Smyth pounced to close out the contest with his putt and put his state in the box seat.

It was a second-close run defeat of the day for Murray after a memorable morning clash with Western Australia’s US Junior Amateur champion Min Woo Lee.

Murray had been four down with four to play but looked set to haul himself off the canvas and snatch a point only for Lee to eventually hold him off for a 2&1 success.

That was, however, not enough to give the hosts an opening win as Victoria stamped their mark on the tournament.

Despite getting a great 1-up result from late call-up Jordan Doull in the No.6 slot, Victoria rode impressive wins at No.7 by Michel, at No.5 by Sanchez and a great 3&2 result from No.2 Micheluzzi to the verge of victory.

And then Australian Junior champion John steered the Vics home 4-3 with a tense 2-up win over Haydn Barron in what turned out to be the pivotal match at No.3

The defeat clearly had an effect on the hosts who struck early trouble in their afternoon clash with Tasmania.

Six of their seven players were behind after six holes but the contest turned on the par-three ninth - arguably the most difficult hole on the course - where all seven West Aussies won the hole.

It sparked a turnaround that ended with a convincing 6.5-0.5 WA win to keep them in contention.

South Australia and Queensland won their only matches of the day, both against Northern Territory.

The Croweaters won 4.5-2.5 on the back of William Somerfield, Sam Burton, Billy Cawthorne and Matt Lisa and despite impressive wins by Jake Hughes and Kerryn Heaver.

Queensland enjoyed a comfortable afternoon winning 5.5-1.5 to set them up for Wednesday’s action when they face critical matches against New South Wales and Western Australia.

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