The five-woman team of Shelly Shin, Hannah Green, Becky Kay, Jenny Lee and Gennai Goodwin became the fifth Australian unit to win the Commonwealth teams trophy with another resounding victory over South Africa at The Grange Golf Club today.
The Australians were effectively unbeatable when they won both morning foursomes matches, but true to team manager Matt Cutler’s urgings, they maintained focus in the afternoon session and romped home 5-2 to stay unbeaten for the week.
Cutler, who’d also been with the Australian squad that won the World Amateur Teams Championship in Japan last year with recently professional Minjee Lee and Su-hyun Oh, said the new-look squad had “exceeded expectations”.
“We came in this week not really knowing what to expect, especially in a matchplay format against some girls we hadn’t really seen before, and they just really came together well,” said Cutler, also the Golf Australia high performance manager.
“When you think we’ve lost two of the best amateurs we’ve seen in years, it was a fantastic achievement and perhaps the greatest part of it was that it shows the depth of talent we’ve got coming through.”
The only common element between the two Aussie teams was Sydney’s Shin, who was superb again today in pounding South Africa’s top player, Bertine Strauss 5-&-3 in the singles after earlier combining with Lee for a foursomes triumph.
Shin, 16, might be shy with her words, but she’s anything but that on course, winning high praise from Cutler for her leadership.
“The world amateur is obviously bigger, but this win feels just as good,” Shin said.
“It’s a good team … I wasn’t really thinking about leading, just doing my best out there … and I’m happy it has worked out for us.”
Perth’s Green, 18, was again imperious, capping a great week with a 4-&-2 hiding of South African No.2 Michaela Fletcher to seal the day’s victory for the Aussies.
Kay, 15, of the Gold Coast, succumbed to Lora Assad (2-up) and hometown favourite Lee, whose 19th birthday was toasted in the clubrooms afterwards, fell 3-&-2 to Ivanna Samu.
But unsung hero Goodwin, 20, of Brisbane, took out Eleonora Galletti 2-up to round out a promising week for the Texas Tech representative.
In the other match today, New Zealand beat Canada 5-2 to leave the final standings Australia (4 wins), Great Britain and Ireland (2), New Zealand (2), South Africa (2) and Canada (0).