SA claims top 25 finish at WATC

Brandon Stone and Zander Lombard pulled out all the stops on Sunday to lift South Africa to a 23rd place finish at the weather-reduced World Amateur Team Championships in Turkey.

The local team effectively ruined their Eisenhower Trophy title bid with a disappointing opening round that left them trailing the United States by 14 shots and their campaign was further derailed when the championship was reduced to 54 holes by thunderstorms and rain in the second round.

Playing purely for pride and position, Stone carved out a three-under-par 68 at the Sultan Course at Antalya Golf Club and Lombard produced a one-under-par 70 to improve four shots on their overnight total and finish the 54-hole championship on a team total of one-under-par 427.

Haydn Porteous, the final member of the three-man team, finished with back-to-back double bogeys to sign off on a nine-over-par 80 that did not count towards the team total.

Having broken the record for the lowest 18-hole team score with a 13-under-par 131 in the first round and setting a 36-hole record at 20-under-par 266 in round two, the United States romped to a five shot victory over Mexico with a team total of 24-under-par 404.

For a third successive round, Stone underlined his stature as the country’s leading amateur in the world rankings by stepping up to give the side a much-needed final round boost at the tough Sultan Course.

After a birdie and bogey apiece on his front nine, the Pretoria golfer romped home in 32 strokes and his birdie run from sixth was interrupted by a lone dropped shot at the seventh.

Meanwhile 17-year-old Lombard collected four birdies, offset by three bogeys for his second counting round in the competition.

Stone was also the highest finishing South African in the individual standings, finishing 10 shots behind winner Sebastian Vazquez from Mexico in a tie for 13th. Vazquez edged out Chris Williams from the United States by one shot to take the honour on 15-under-par 199.

Lombard tied for 91s in the individual standings, while Porteous tied for 134th.

Final Team Result (top five and RSA):

404 (-24) United States 131-135-138

409 (-19) Mexico 135-139-135

413 (-15) Republic of Korea 134-138-141; Germany 141-135-137; France 135-140-138

427 (-1) South Africa 145-144-138

Individual Results (top five and RSA)

199 (-15) Sebastian Vazquez MEX 66-67-66

200 (-14) Chris Williams USA 64-67-69

201 (-13) Moritz Lampert GER 70-66-65

204 (-10) Julien Brun FRA 67-72-65; Julio Vegas VEN 69-70-65

209 (-5) Brandon Stone RSA 70-71-68

221 (+7) Zander Lombard RSA 75-76-70

230 (+16) Haydn Porteous RSA 77-73-80

To view the final WATC leaderboards, please click here.

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