SA take commanding lead at AAGTC
South Africa leapfrogged overnight leaders Zimbabwe with a strong second round showing and made a strong case in their title defence at African Amateur Golf Teams Championship (AAGTC) with another superb performance in the third round at the Royal Swazi Sun Country Club on Tuesday.
Gunning for South Africa’s seventh consecutive victory in the victory in Africa’s premier biennial team’s competition, the local side combined for a second round 204 and carded a third round 202 to hit the front.
South Africa will take a commanding 13 shot lead into the final round ahead of Zimbabwe, who followed their opening 204 with rounds of 215 and 208.
Hosts Swaziland are third on 657 after posting rounds of 215, 223 and 219.
Central Gauteng’s Callum Mowat, who lifted the Swazi Open title on Sunday, set the tone for South Africa with an opening 65 and was supported by a 71 from NJ Arnoldi and a 72 from Gerlou Roux.
Mowat dipped seven shots under par again in the second round to give the team the boost they needed to make a run at the early pacesetters.
Swazi Open runner-up Lombard shot a non-counting 75 in the first round, but the SA number two got the putter going and returned a five under 67. Roux carded a non-counting 76, but Arnoldi added a 72 that helped South Africa to a seven shot lead over Zimbabwe at the 36-hole mark.
In the second trip around the 6,166m championship layout nestled in the Ezulweni Valley, Roux from Western Province stepped up the pace with a six under 66, while Gauteng North’s Lombard doubled up on 67s and Arnoldi contributed a 69 that put South Africa 13 shots clear of the field.
“I thought I would take a break and give the other guys a chance to shine,” joked Mowat, clearly delighted that the team is on track to keep South Africa’s winning run going.
“We are dovetailing really well, and there is always someone who steps up when one of us struggles. The team spirit is fantastic and we are really enjoying the tournament. No matter what, all of us will show up in the final round to make sure we bring the trophy home.”
SECOND ROUND TEAMS LEADERBOARD
614 South Africa 208-204-202
627 Zimbabwe 204-215-208
657 Swaziland 215-223-219
661 Reunion 219-226-216
662 Mauritius 215-222-225
663 Kenya 217-227-219
668 Zambia 228-220-220
671 Uganda 226-213-232
689 Namibia 234-223-232
713 Botswana 239-242-232
755 Mozambique 252-249-254