Good start for SA’s Eisenhower Team

Jacques BlaauwSouth Africa are tied in sixth place, at three under par, with New Zealand, after the conclusion of the first round of the Eisenhower Trophy. “Happy with our first day’s performance,” is how team captain Enver Hassen summed up the day.

Leading the team event, on ten under par, is the United States. Playing Royal Adelaide Golf Club, both Jamie Lovemark and Rickie Fowler recorded rounds of 68, five under par, giving them a team total of 136.

The South Africans were on the Grange Golf Club: West Course, par 72, today, having been given the last of the afternoon times, in weather conditions conducive for good scoring. “The course dried out by the time we played which made the greens quite tricky compared to the earlier times,” said Jacques Blaauw, after his round.

The two best scores count for the team competition. Blaauw recorded a 70, two under par, and Dylan Frittelli 71, one under, giving the South Africans a first round score of 141, three under par.

Twenty two year old Blaauw, who plays his golf out of Paarl Golf Club in the Boland, recorded five birdies and three bogeys in is round of 70. Three of the birdies were on par 5s. “I only asked my caddie for two lines today, on the 11th and 18th greens. I sunk the putt on both occasions to record birdies,” said Blaauw, speaking from his hotel in the capital city of South Austraila. He went on to say that his caddie, a volunteer, who also caddied for Iliska Verwey, who was the best performing South African in the Espirito Santo Trophy, the women’s event of the World Amateur Team Championship. “He is a former South African, born in Johannesburg,” said Blaauw, enjoying the fact that his caddie had a close affiliation for this team.

Frittelli, the 18 year old from Irene Golf Club, just outside Pretoria played steadily over the front nine turning in 37, recording a birdie on hole 7 and two bogeys, one on hole 6 another on 9. It started to become eventful on the back nine for youngest member of the South African team.. He birdied the 10th, “I hit a 2 iron to the green and missed my eagle putt,” explained the University of Texas scholar. “I hit my approach to within 2 metres of the pin on 11 and sunk the putt,” is how Frittelli explained his next birdie. “I sunk a great downhill putt of just over 6 metres on 14 for a birdie. Then I played some bad golf, missing the green on holes 16 and 17, unable to up and down, dropping shots on both holes. On the final hole I hit a bad approach to the green, finishing a good 8 metres from the flag and made the putt for my fifth birdie of the day,” explained the current SA Boys champion.

The third player in the team Cameron Johnston had a disappointing round of 79, seven over par. The 37 year old Miltnerton Golf Club member turned level par. He played the 10th hole in regulation and from there it all went wrong, dropping shots on all holes coming in, including a double bogey on the par 4 15th hole, except hole 12 and 17.

“We are satisfied with our performance and look forward to tomorrow when we play Royal Adelaide Golf Club, starting out at 08h36. Although it is a par 73, and tougher than Grange’s West course, we hope that with an early morning time we will get the best of the conditions and will capitalize on it,” said team captain Enver Hassen, speaking from his hotel room in Adelaide.

The prestigious 72 hole stroke play team event, which has attracted top three players from 65 countries, is being played over two golf courses. Each team plays both courses twice over the duration of the four day competition.

On conclusion of tomorrow’s round there will be a seeded draw based on team scores.

World Amateur Team Championship:

Eisenhower Trophy

Leading first round team scores are as follows:

(a) Royal Adelaide Golf Club, par 73;

(g) Grange Golf Club (West Course), par 72

-10 United States (a) (136)

-8 Scotland (g) (136)

-7 Puerto Rico (g) (137)

-5 France (g) (139), Wales (g) (139)

-3 New Zealand (a) (143), South Africa (g) (141)

-2 Sweden (g) (142)

-1 England (a) (145), Spain (a) (145), Korea (a) (145), Netherlands (a) (145)

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