Porteous solid on day one at The Spirit
The South African team are eight shots off the pace after the opening round of the 2011 Spirit International, which teed off at Whispering Pines Golf Course in Houston, Texas on Wednesday.
Vying for South Africa’s first success in this prestigious biennial tournament, Ruan de Smidt, Haydn Porteous, Kim Williams and Iliska Verwey combined for an eight-under-par 140 to tie for 11th with Germany.
Canada hold pole position on 12-under-par 132, one shot clear of the United States.
Porteous made three birdies and his contribution helped the South African pair to a four-under-par 68 and a share of seventh alongside Italy.
The duo trail the United States and Canada by four shots.
In the Womens Team Competition, Laura Lonardi picked up six birdies to help Italy to a two stroke lead on 66, with Canada and Korea following close behind.
Verwey and Wiliams began well with two birdies in the first three holes, but Williams could only manage to add one more for an opening 72 and a share of 14th alongside Japan and Sweden.
“It could have been better,” said Williams. “I lipped out for birdie at the 17th and missed an eight-footer for birdie at the last. One thing is for certain, we will all have to play more aggressively if we want to catch up to the leaders.”
FIRST ROUND: TEAMS LEADERBOARD
133 United States
136 Denmark; Australia
137 Belgium; Japan
139 Mexico; Argentina
140 South Africa; Germany
141 Switzerland; England
142 Ireland; Sweden
175 People’s Republic of China
FIRST ROUND: MENS TEAM COMPETITION (top 10 only)
64 Canada; United States
65 Australia; Japan
67 Belgium; Denmark
68 South Africa; Italy
69 Ireland; Mexico
FIRST ROUND: WOMENS TEAM COMPETITION (top 10 only)
Women’s Team Competition
68 Canada; Korea
69 Argentina; Denmark; United States
70 Belgium; England; Germany; Mexico; Switzerland
71 Australia; Colombia
72 South Africa