SA disappointed as the team goes down to GB & I
Great Britain and Ireland boosted their prospects of retaining the Astor Trophy at Fairhaven Golf Club, Lytham St Annes on Sunday with a resounding 6-1 win over South Africa on Day 2 of the five-day round-robin team match-play event.
Great Britain and Ireland are on course for a title-deciding clash against New Zealand on Saturday in the Astor Trophy tournament at Fairhaven GC, Lancashire.
Both teams have won their first two matches. Great Britain beat South Africa 6-1 today while pre-tournament favourites New Zealand won 5-2 against Canada who were playing for the first time this week.
After winning the foursomes 2-0 against South Africa, GB and I steadily built on that lead.
Kelsey MacDonald, playing for GB and I for the first time this week, beat South Africa’s Bertine Strauss, ranked in the world top 10, by one hole in a match which the Scot would have been glad of the holes she won in the early stages.
The Stirling student put herself in the mood for the task in hand with a winning eagle 3 at the first and a winning birdie 4 at the long third. She also won the fourth on a concession to be three up on the fifth tee.
Strauss, as expected, came back at MacDonald to cut the Scot’s lead to one hole at the turn by winning the seventh and ninth.
MacDonald went two up at the 10th but lost the 11th The last seven holes were halved as Kelsey held at bay the South African’s efforts to swing the match her way.
Fellow Scot Pamela Pretswell beat Tiffany Avern Taplin by 5 and 4. Pamela also started well by winning the first, second and sixth to be three up on the seventh tee. Taplin got it back to two holes in arrears at the turn but the Scot virtually closed the door on her with a birdie 2 at the short 10th ande a birdie 4 at the long 11th to go four up.
Wales’ Amy Boulden, returned to form with a foursomes win and then a singles victory. In the afternoon the Maesdu player beat Henriette Frylinck 4 and 3 after being two up at the turn. Amy made that a three-hole lead by winning the 12th. After losing the 13th, Boulden wrapped up her victory by taking the 14th and 15th.
Holly Clyburn birdied the first and the seventh on the outward journey against South Africa’s top-10 world ranked Iliska Verwey but she was still one down at the turn
A birdie at the 11th saw Clyburn square the match and when she won the 15th, Holly was in the lead for the first time since the early stages. Verwey fought to the finish. She birdied the long 16th to get back on terms but Clyburn won the par-3 17th with a 3 and halved the last for a well-earned win.
South Africa’s only winner was Kim Williams who was three up on Kelly Tidy after six holes with sub-par figures. Tidy came back into the game after the turn and squared it at the 14th.
In an exciting finish, Williams birdied the short 17th to get her nose in front again and a half at the last gave the South African victory.
Report from a disappointed Val Holland:
“Well we went out to win and unfortunately that was not meant to be. This must be the best golf I have seen in a long time, there are so many holes being halved in Birdies. We found ourselves up against one very strong Great Britain and Ireland team.
“ Our star “Kim” was the only player to secure a win and playing against the number 1. Kim has had two fantastic wins and having a week of glory which she so deserves. Bertine and Iliska went to the 18th and could so have gone our way.
“ Although a slightly dejected team that feels that just nothing is going our way, we are all ready to take on Canada and Australia and hopefully a few upsets from the other teams could still leave us in second position so our mission continues.
“Weather today was nice, rained in the morning and cold all day but at least the rain stopped. We are expecting really bad weather conditions for the next two days so let’s hope the weather bureau is not accurate.”