SA rally on moving day in Mexico

Kaleigh Telfer and Ivanna Samu saved their best performances for moving day to lift South Africa to 20th at the World Amateur Team Championship, while South Korea is on the verge of its fourth Espirito Santo Trophy title as Hye Jin Choi and Min Ji Park built a 14-stroke lead over Switzerland in Friday’s third round.

Choi fired a 68 and Park added a 70 at the Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club.for a six-under-par 138 total that took South Korea to 19-under-par 413.

Samu and Telfer enjoyed an equally productive day at the Mayakoba El Camaleon Golf Club.

The duo posted a pair of 71s to combine for a total of 142 that moved South Africa from 28th to 20th at 13 over 445.

Samu offset a bogey at 17 with birdies at seven and 12, while Telfer overcame a faltering start with a trio of birdies on the back nine. Cara Gorlei posted a non-counting 76.

“Although the humidity was at its worst this week, Ivanna and Kaleigh took advantage of the perfect weather to give us a considerable boost in the team standings,” said Womens Golf South Africa national coach Val Holland.

“Ivanna highlight came early in the round at the fifth hole. She hit her drive at the par five in the water, but hit a brilliant hybrid to 67 metres and then parked her fourth shot just four feet from the hole to save par. She also made a magnificent up-and-down at the tough 15th after she missed the green left. She faced an incredibly tough chip, but she hit it brilliantly and nearly holed out.

“Kaleigh had a double drop at the second and a bogey at the fourth and turned two over, but she showed a lot of heart to rally with three successive birdies on the back nine in an amazing finish.

“She hit her approach to three feet at 14 and holed the birdie putt, put her approach at the tricky short 15th six foot from the pin and holed the putt for two and two-putted for another brilliant birdie at the par five 16 after hitting her second to the front edge of the green.

“Cara actually had a solid start with a birdie at the third and a bogey at five and she turned level par, but she had a couple of soft drops on the back nine. The highlight of her round came at the second hole where she missed the green right. She chipped up and holed a 30 footer to save par.”

Thailand, which has not been in the medal race since finishing second in 2002, posted a third-round score of 143 to move to third at one under 431.

Denmark and Ireland tied for fourth at 432, followed by Spain in sixth at 435. The USA finished seventh at 436 with host nation Mexico and Canada tied for eighth at 438 and Japan tenth at 439.

The World Amateur Team Championship is a biennial international amateur competition conducted by the International Golf Federation (IGF), which comprises 147 national governing bodies in 141 countries and 22 professional members.

The men compete in the Eisenhower Trophy and the women in the Espirito Santo Trophy.

The competition – which is being held for the 27th time – is rotated among three geographic zones: Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe-Africa.

In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of Womens Golf South Africa.

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