SA duo a happy act in Argentina
Top South African amateurs Gerlou Roux and Callum Mowat spent three days in Pilar near Buenos Aires coming to grips with the rather unique and challenging course at Los Lagartos Country Club, the host venue for this year’s Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup.
Having had a really good look at the layout, Roux predicted that the par-71, 6,800-yard course will definitely provide the test to 16 teams from across the globe over the four days of the prestigious team championship.
“It’s a Parklands-styled course with a distinctly American flavour,” he said. “With wide fairways, huge tees, the rough has been allowed to run wild and the greens are lightning fast. The holes are pretty challenging, with dog-legs and a lot of water hazards. Precision and a hot putter will rule the day.”
But not even the experienced former professional could imagine just how tough the first round would be.
Although the duo carded a pair of two-over-par 73s, they were stunned to discover that they finished in second place, just three shots behind pacesetters Denmark on 143.
“Wow, it actually went very well for us, but we definitely didn’t expect it,” said Roux. “What a struggle! Not only did we have to battle the language barrier with our caddies, but the wind blew a gale and it was incredibly tough on club selection.
“You have to get the ball to the right spots on the greens, but it was tough to be precise. And the greens….it is like putting on tile; you just touch the ball and off it goes. They are definitely faster than in the practice rounds, and Callum and I both struggled with the pace.”
Hosts Argentina, Uruguay and Spain share are five shots off the pace in third and lead Italy by three while defending champions Australia and Ireland share eighth on 152, a shot behind seventh placed Portugal on 150.
Over the last four decades a large number of world beaters shone in this team championship and Major champions Adam Scott and Trevor Immelman are just two of the international champions that have left the mark on this prestigious tournament.
Australia tops the leaderboard with five victories, followed by England with four and Holland with three, while South Africa shares two victories with the host nation, but Roux and Mowat hope to boost the tally to three.
Former Masters champion Immelman and Sunshine Tour winner Ulrich van den Berg, who scored South Africa’s first win in 1999, and in 2008, former Sanlam SA Amateur champion Ryan Dreyer and JG Claassen secured South Africa’s second triumph in Pilar.
FIRST ROUND LEADERBOARD
146 South Africa
148 Argentina; Uruguay; Spain
152 Ireland; Australia
155 Peru; New Zealand
DQ – Australia