SA ready for Astor Trophy challenge in Australia

Australia came out on tops in the first round of the Astor Trophy, but it was the result between New Zealand and Great Britain that encouraged the South African team vying for a first victory in the prestigious team tournament at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide on Tuesday.

Australia defeated Canada 4.5 – 2.5, the Kiwis whipped 2011 champions Great Britain & Ireland 4 – 3.

The South African team used their first round bye on Monday to put the final touches to their preparation for their opening match against the defending champions and New Zealand’s success put a bounce in their step.

“We hit the ground running with a couple of practice rounds since we arrived and the players have worked incredibly hard with our national coach, Val Holland, on the Foursomes combinations,” said Womens Golf South Africa president, Karen Olivant.

“It is very important to get off to a solid start, because you don’t want to be on the back foot going in the Singles, especially not in our opening match against Great Britain & Ireland.

“We had two days of bitterly cold weather and pouring rain, and scorching heat during our second practice round and the players did a lot of course work.

“They spent all Monday morning doing short game drills, so Val and I decided to take their mind off things for a while. We are heading to a wildlife park so the girls can all enjoy seeing koalas and kangaroos.

“Then the serious work starts on Tuesday. We are prepared for a tough match against Great Britain & Ireland, but we are quite encouraged by the first round result.”

Bertine Strauss from North West Province and reigning Nomads SA Women’s Amateur champion Ivanna Samu from Gauteng will face off against Bronte Law and Chloe Williams.

Africa Youth Games bronze medallist Eleonora Gallitti will partner fellow Gauteng player Lora Assad against Charlotte Thomas and Hayley Davis.

The final member of the team, Michaela Fletcher from KwaZulu-Natal, will make her Astor Trophy debut playing at number two in the Singles.

In the second match on Tuesday, the host nations will hope to end New Zealand’s winning march, while Canada will have a day off to regroup.

South Africa took third in 2007 and 2011 in the Astor Trophy, which is only played every four years and contested between South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Great Britain & Ireland.

PHOTO – The national team representing South Africa in the 2015 Astor Trophy; credit WGSA.
(Left to right: Michaela Fletcher, Lora Assad, Eleonora Galletti & Ivanna Samu; Back: Bertine Strauss)

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

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