New South Wales is the champion women’s team of Australia for the second successive year.
They’d been warm favourites when the week began and the women in blue played right up to those expectations in the final at Royal Hobart, dismissing Queensland 5.5-0.5 to defend the Gladys Hay Memorial Cup they won in Adelaide last year.
Led by unbeaten co-skipper Doey Choi, who stormed home to halve her epic tussle with Queenslander Cassie Porter, the NSW women would simply not be denied.
From the first match out, won in stoic style by 14-year-old Sophie Yip with five consecutive halved holes to finish and salute 1-up, to Choi in the No.1 slot, they were on top of their game.
Co-skipper Grace Kim was five under when she toppled a gallant Issy Taylor 3&2, Steph Kyriacou made six birdies in beating Queensland skipper Dee Dee Russell 4&2 and Kelsey Bennett made five of her own in downing Lisa Edgar 5&3.
And last year’s winning skipper Amy Chu saved her best for last after making a rushed trip back from her US collegiate base in Washington to down Sarah Wilson 2&1.
“We’re really proud of our team,” Choi said.
“Having most of the girls from last year makes it feel a lot better that we can do it again.”
Grace, Australia’s top-ranked amateur who also dropped eight birdies in the 13 holes she played in the final preliminary match earlier in the day, said the loss to Victoria on day one had been important.
“It got us going. It’s only the first match, so it didn’t (ultimately) hurt us, but it got us going and to where we are right now,” the Youth Olympic champion said.
Choi had been 3-down through 12 in her match at No.1 against the impressive Porter, but told caddie Graeme Phillipson, with whom she has a substantial winning streak rolling, that she would make four birdies in her final six holes to dig herself out of that hole.
“We’re really proud of our team … Having most of the girls from last year makes it feel a lot better that we can do it again.” – Doey Choi
As news filtered through to Choi of her teammates’ successes, rather than relaxing in imminent team glory, it only fuelled the Concord member’s resolve.
Sure enough, a fourth birdie from 5m on the 18th green was enough to halve her match and preserve her unbeaten streak.
“I was not letting the team down and not going to finish without a fight,” Choi said.
“So I just gave it all I had … and here we are.”
And here looks just fine if you’re wearing blue.
** Choi was later rewarded for her unbeaten week during the presentation ceremony and joined in that honour by Victorian Steffi Vogel.