WATCH: Former Gladstone golfer leads the way
GOLF: Former Gladstone and now Gold Coast-based Ryan Stitt played a pivotal role to help Queensland claim the Boys' Junior Interstate Series at Perth's Hartfield Golf Club on Thursday.
The win was the Sunshine State's first since it won the title in 2013.
Stitt 16, who moved south back in December 2016 to join the Burleigh Golf Club, got Queensland going after a 4-3 win over Adam Brady.
But the result was not decided until Stitt's team-mate Lewis Hoath holed a 1.2m putt on the 17th to seal the deal in a pressure-packed finish.
Ironically, aside from Hoath's heroics, it was New South Wales that also helped Queensland's cause when it pipped South Australia 3-2 which mean all Queensland had to do is win.
Stitt, who was a member of both the Gladstone and Calliope Golf Club in which he was coach by Dion Hayne, could not be contacted by The Observer yesterday.
His proud dad Chris Stitt said he has worked hard on his game.
"He was raw when he came down to the Gold Coast and he has just grown so quick that it affected his swing,” he said.
But Stitt, with initial coach Richard Woodhouse, both worked hard on his swing that needed to be adjusted because of his growth.
"He was used to a certain swing and has been playing golf since he was eight,” Stitt Sr said.
Queensland coach Chris Gibson heaped praise with Stitt's professionalism and ability to perform under pressure.
"He's just a fantastic athlete and he does all the one percentages from nutrition to warm-ups and warm-downs and that separates him from the rest of the athletes,” he said.
"If he keeps trending the way he has been in the past 12 months, then he has the chance to do anything.”
Gibson said the talent pool of players is healthy in Queensland golf and for the players to make the team was an achievement in itself.
"Just to get into the team has been extraordinarily difficult,” he said.
Queensland captain Louis Dobbelaar told Golf Australia the feeling was of relief and of disbelief.
"It has to be one of the best Queensland highlights in boys' history,” he said.
"All the boys did really well and I'm just glad we all came together extremely well.”
To put the icing on the cake, Stitt, Dobbelaar and Hoath were all unbeaten during the week and the trio joined Corey Lamb (NSW) and West Aussie Josh Greer to each receive a Golf Australia medal.
"It is an incredible feeling, honestly,” 2016 New Zealand Amateur champion Dobbelaar said.
"I'm really proud of the boys' efforts this week - we really had an awesome time out there.”
Gibson added that this was a rare feat as well.
"There's only two or three players a year who do this and that is a massive honour in itself,” he said.