11 November 2023 – Christo Lamprecht, Christiaan Maas and Altin van der Merwe added to South Africa’s terrific sporting success with an outstanding performance in the 33rd World Amateur Team Championships in Abu Dhabi.
The GolfRSA National Squad trio combined for rounds of 139, 138, 138 and 139 at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club to close out a seventh-place finish on a 22-under-par 554 and achieved the country’s best result since 1982.
South Africa has never won the biennial Eisenhower Trophy.
Etienne Groenewald, Lindsay-Smith, Suddards and Wayne Player came the closest with a runner-up finish behind the United States at Pinehurst No 2 in 1980.
Two years later, Derek James partnered Lindsay-Smith, Suddards and Neil James to a sixth-place finish in Switzerland in 1982.
From 1958 to 2000, teams of four players from each country competed over 72 holes with the leading three scores from each round to count. Since the format changed to teams of three with the two leading scores to count in 2002, only one team – Trevor Immelman, Jean Hugo and Dean Lambert – has posted a top 10 with their tie for 10th in Chile.
Braving sweltering conditions at the desert course, reigning Amateur champion Lamprecht from Southern Cape spearheaded the relentless charge against the best players in the world and fired rounds of 71, 68, 68 and 70. The Georgia Tech standout finished the week on 11-under, good enough for a share of the eighth in the individual competition.
Texas University’s Maas produced rounds of 70, 70, 71 and 69 and the Gauteng North golfer tied for 17th, while GolfRSA No 1 Van der Merwe – making his debut in the global showpiece – led the side with an opening three-under 69. Further rounds of 71, 70 and 71 netted the Western Province golfer a share of 24th.
The USA-team, led by World No 1 Gordon Sargent, were hotly fancied all week and notched their 16th Eisenhower Trophy title on 36-under 540, finishing a full 11 shots clear of their nearest challengers, Norway and Australia.
2023 ESPIRITO SANTO TROPHY
South Africa’s women’s team made a battling start in the 30th women’s championship. Caitlyn Macnab, Kajal Mistry and WATC debutant Megan Streicher opened with a round of 149, and despite their best efforts, a combination of weather challenges and cold putters put paid to their title hopes.
After a strong joint 15th finish in France last year, the Proteas slipped to a disappointing 27th place finish after further rounds of 144, 146 and 145.
The Republic of Korea, led by World No 4 Minsol Kim. secured their fifth Espirito Santo Trophy victory and fourth in the last seven editions. Korea’s 72-hole score of 22-under-par 554 was four strokes better than runners-up Chinese Taipei, and five shots better than the third-placed Spain.
Ekurhuleni’s Macnab was the top performer for Team South Africa for a third year running. The Ole Miss student placed joint 25th with rounds of 73, 71. 70 and 73.
Streicher from Boland, a second-year student at the University of North Carolina, opened with rounds of 76 and 73, and rallied after carding 80 in the third round with a closing 72 to tie for 81st.
Arkansas University senior Mistry from Central Gauteng, also making her third successive appearance for South Africa, tied for 84th after posting rounds of 76, 74, 76 and 77.
The next World Amateur Team Championship will be contested at the Tampines Course at Tenah Merah Country Club in Singapore in 2025.