SA slips, but still celebrates in Korea
The South African team were disappointed with their second round performance in the Men’s Golf Competition on Thursday, but after joining in a raucous gold medal celebration for 100 meter athlete Akani Simbine at the 2015 Summer Universiade, the SA trio are ready to reach for the stars in the next two rounds in Gwangju, Korea.
Teaghan Gauche, Jason Smith and Andrew van der Knaap joined the rest of Team SA in a standing and singing ovation to welcome Simbine back at the Athletes Village after the South African sprinter won South Africa’s first gold in the World Student games with a stunning time of 9.97 seconds.
“It was so inspiring to celebrate our country’s first gold medal with Akani and the rest of the team,” said Thursday’s pacesetter Smith. “The experience left just fired us up and we are rearing to go out there and made amends for a less than impressive performance today.”
The former SA stroke play champion carded a two over 74, Van der Knaap added a 76 and Gauche, who led the team with a 68 in the first round, signed for an 80 at Naju Gold Lake Country Club.
South Africa slip to ninth over-all on 294 and lag 18 strokes behind 36-hole leader Korea.
“We saw the sun and blue skies for the first time since we arrived in Korea,” said TuksGolf Club & Academies head coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen.
“We had a breezy front nine, but the weather on our back nine (1-9) was perfect. It was quite hot and humid, almost like a round at Prince’s Grant in high summer.
“Teags picked up where he left off on Wednesday and left two chances in the throat at 10 and 12. He three-putted with a severe horse shoe at both 14 and 15 from 15 feet. He missed short birdie chance at 17 and again at 18
“He literally hit his first bad shot on the first, but it just spiralled out of control from there.
“Jase had a three-putt bogey at 16, but rallied with birdies at 17, 18 and one. He made a good save on two, but followed it with another three-putt bogey at four.
“At five, he sunk a great birdie putt but gave it back on the next hole. Unfortunately disaster struck on the eighth. He drove his tee shot left and had to hit his second on a 45 degree slope just left of fairway. He hit it long left of green and the ball pitched on a cart path and disappeared. It was tough to make triple on what is actually a birdie hole.
“Andrew had some bad luck, two bad tee shots and a cold putter. He improved by two strokes though and his routines are so good, I believe he will continue to improve.
““The players are so much better than today’s scores suggest and we decided not to let this round define who they are. It’s not in our DNA’s to give up. We will live and learn to come back stronger tomorrow.”
TEAMS LEADERBOARD – TOP 10
276 Republic of Korea 140 136
280 France 143 137
281 Japan 142 139; Thailand 136 145
284 Ireland 142 142
288 Canada 146 142
290 Chinese Taipei 146 144
291 Great Britain 139 152
294 South Africa 144 150
295 Switzerland 147 148
Follow live updates, results and photos on Facebook – 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.