SA Juniors struggle at Junior Golf World Cup
South Africa struggled through a tough day on the greens at the TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup, but the four-man junior team managed to hang on to a top 10 finish in Aichi-Prefecture, Japan on Wednesday.
After a solid 208 in the first round, the local heroes struggled to negotiate some tough pin placements at Tokyo’s Chukyo Country Club and produced a two over 215 that left South Africa in ninth on three-under-par 423 with two rounds to play.
Meanwhile the United States added a 210 to their opening 205 and surged to the pole position.
The Yanks, who lead on 11-under-par 415, are two shots clear of Italy, who combined for 208, while first round leaders, Chile, finished a further stroke back after a second round 214.
Kyle McClatchie was frustrated after his opening 79, but the Ekurhuleni golfer wiped the slate clean when he romped home in 70 strokes.
Jovan Rebula from Southern Cape signed for a 71 and Western Province’s Altin van der Merwe added a 74 to the team’s total.
First round pacesetter, Hennie du Plessis from Limpopo, signed for a non-counting 75.
“The pin placements were definitely a lot tougher than in the first round, and the boys struggled on the greens,” commented South African Golf Association vice-president, Gerhard Conradie.
“Kyle was really gutted after the first round, but he showed a lot of grit to rebound with a solid performance. Both he and Jovan were going along nicely, but Jovan hit one out of bounds at the 15th and the resulting double bogey cost him a sub-par round.
“Altin was also steady, but he struggled on the greens. He is a fighter, though. He was in the water hazard twice at the 18th, but still walked off with a very good six at the par-five.
“Hennie also battled with the putter over the first nine hole, but he completed the back nine in 33, so a great comeback from him, as well.
“Overall, the boys feel that they are getting to know the course and they expected to do better in the second round. However, it was generally a tough day out there for most teams. The boys are still upbeat and positive and ready to fight another day.”
While the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship winners held on for a top 10 positions, debutants Zimbabwe managed to improve three shots on their opening 224. At 445, the silver medallists in Zambia lag just 10 shots behind Argentina.
Stuart Krog and Mbongeni Mpahosa both produced 72s, while Kieron Vincent carded a 77 and Justin Kersten returned a non-counting 81.
Meanwhile Japan vaulted into the lead in the Girls Competition on even-par 288, while Sweden also leapfrogged first round leader, United States, to finish one off the pace in second.
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SECOND ROUND BOYS TEAM STANDINGS
415 United States 205 2010
417 Italy 209 208
418 Chile 204 214
419 Venezuela 205 214
420 Japan 207 213
421 Australia 210 211
422 France 211 211; Norway 213 209
423 South Africa 208 215
424 Canada 211 213
427 Korea 215 212; Mexico 208 219
429 Thailand 213 216
435 Argentina 218 217
445 Zimbabwe 224 221
SECOND ROUND BOYS INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS (top five)
132 (-10) Jorge Garcia VEN 84 68; Cameron Young USA 65 67
134 (-8) Joaquin Niemann CHL 65 69
136 (-6) Guido Migliozzi ITA 66 70
137 (-5) Brett Coletta AUS 68 69; Andreas Halvorsen NOR 71 66; Kaigo Tamaki JAP 67 70
142 (lvl) Hennie du Plessis 67 75
143 Jovan Rebula 72 71; Altin van der Merwe 69 74
149 Kyle McClatchie 79 70
143 Stuart Krog 71 72
149 Mbogeni Maphosa 77 72
153 Kieren Vincent 76 77
161 Justin Kersten 80 81
SECOND ROUND GIRLS TEAM STANDINGS
288 Japan 142 146
289 Sweden 143 146
291 United States 139 152
295 Korea 145 150
297 Colombia 148 149
SECOND ROUND GIRLS INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS (top three)
140 (-4) Linnea Strom SWE 70 70
141 (-3) Amy Lee USA 66 75
142 (-2) Haruhi Nakao 71 71
South Africa has only tasted success once in the 21-year history of the event, with SA major winners Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel helping the country to victory in 2001.
The TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup is the only junior golf championship in the world where the winning nations qualify to compete for the world championship title. Nearly 70 national teams participated in the regional qualifying events held on six continents.
This is the first year that both the champions and silver medallists of the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship – South Africa and Zimbabwe – qualify for the TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup and it is the first year in 22 editions that the World Cup features a Girls Division.
In addition Oosthuizen and Schwartzel, Masters Champion Trevor Immelman was also a former participant in this event. Other notable former participants include Brendon de Jonge from Zimbabwe, Henrik Stenson from Sweden, Americans Anthony Kim, Kyle Stanley and Hunter Mahan, Ryuji Imada from Japan, Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, Justin Rose from England and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.