SA forge ahead at Leopard Trophy
The South African team won the final round morning session 3-2 to extend their lead over Scotland to four points in this year’s Leopard Trophy at Leopard Creek, near Malelane.
The home side led Scotland 8.5 – 5.5 after winning two foursomes, six singles and halving one single in the first round of the fourth annual clash between the two nations.
In this morning’s session, Scott Crichton drew first blood for the Scots when he defeated Gerlou Roux 3&2 in the only morning single. Haydn Porteous and Louis Taylor hit back with a 2&1 result over Fraser McKenna and Ewan Scott, but the Scots closed the gap again when Michael Daily and Fraser Moore downed new cap Aubrey Barnard and Dylan Rauhenheimer 4&3.
Zander Lombard and new cap Tertius van den Berg put the deficit back to three points, making quick work of their match against Graham Gordon and Jamie Savage with a 5&3 result.
South Africa looked good for another quick result when Callum Mowat and Werner Ferreira reached the 15th hole with a 4-up lead, but the new caps paid the price for inexperience when Mowat tried to go for the green in two and found the water instead.
Ross Bell and Scott Borrowman also claimed the 16th and 17th to cut the local pair’s lead to just one.
“I made a rookie error when I decided to go for the green at 15,” said new cap Mowat. “I thought that with a 4-up lead, I could hit the hero shot and it back-fired badly. We missed two short putts at 16 and 17 and suddenly the pressure was on.”
With a slender cushion, Mowat and Ferreira opted for the safe route at the treacherous par-five 18th, while this time, the Scots played hero and went for the green in two.
While Mowat’s tee shot split the fairway and Ferreira laid up just short of the water that encircles the final green, Bell’s big drive veered right and plunged in the stream separating the 18th and ninth fairways. Forced to drop, Borrowman hit a superb approach that carried the water and pitched on the green.
“Unfortunately the ball just carried on rolling, straight off the back of the green into the moat,” Ferreira explained. “We knew we just needed to pitched it anywhere on the green, lag it close and putt for the win. It turned out that way, but we both came away from the match with a few lessons learned.”
The Scots did have to concede the match after Bell took the penalty drop, but his ball pitched on the side of the green.
South Africa will take a four point lead on 11.5 to 7.5 into the singles, but rookie Van den Berg was quick to point out that the team is still a long way from a celebration.
“We still have six single matches ahead of us this afternoon and we know the Scots are gritty competitors,” he said. “None of us can afford to get complacent, because that is exactly when they will pounce. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing against these guys. I’ve learned so much from this Test and all I want to do now is beat Michael Daily this afternoon and score a point for South Africa.”
South Africa won the inaugural Test in 2010 and were the champions again in 2011, but the Scots turned the tables on their hosts last year.
The annual tournament forms part of the Scottish team’s annual eight week winter training programme, made possible by Leopard Creek proprietor Johann Rupert and Aberdeen Asset Management.
FINAL ROUND MORNING SESSION RESULT (SA 1st; SCOTLAND 2nd):
Gerlou Roux lost to Scott Crichton 3&2
Haydn Porteous & Louis Taylor beat Fraser McKenna & Ewan Scott 2&1
Zander Lombard & Tertius van den Berg beat Graham Gordon & Jamie Savage 5&3
Aubrey Barnard & Dylan Raubenheimer lost to Michael Daily & Fraser Moore 4&3
Werner Ferreira & Callum Mowat beat Ross Bell & Scott Borrowman 1-up
FINAL ROUND SINGLES DRAW (SA vs SCOTLAND):
12h00 Haydn Porteous vs Fraser McKenna
12h10 Zander Lombard vs Ewan Scott
12h10 Louis Taylor vs Fraser Moore
12h20 Gerlou Roux vs Graham Gordon
12h20 Dylan Raubenheimer vs Jamie Savage
12h30 Tertuis van den Berg vs Michael Daily
12h30 Aubrey Barnard vs Scott Crichton
12h40 Werner Ferreira vs Ross Bell
12h40 Callum Mowat vs Scott Borrowman