SA team make slow start in Turkey

The country’s three leading amateurs made a disappointing start in the opening round of the World Amateur Team Championships in Turkey, and following a record-breaking pace set by the United States on Thursday.

The trio combined for a total of three-over-par 145 at the Sultan Course at the Antalya Golf Club, which left the local side tied for 34th in the field of 72 competing countries.

Brandon Stone carded a one-under-par 70 and Zander Lombard a four-over-par 75 to provide the two counting scores, with Haydn Porteous having his 77 discarded.

Meanwhile, the United States partnership of Chris Williams and Justin Thomas produced a 13-under-par 131 that pushed the Americans into pole position and they lead second-placed Mexico by four shots.

South Korea are third at eight under, with defending champions France in a tie for fourth with Spain and the Netherlands on seven under.

Among the three South Africans, Stone delivered the most solid performance, mixing one birdie with two bogeys on his front nine, and adding two more birdies at the fifth and ninth holes for a flawless back nine.

Lombard double bogeyed the 12th, his fourth hole, but hit back with birdies at the 14th and 16th holes. Back-to-back bogeys at 17 and 18 saw the Pretoria golfer turn in two over and he played the back nine in two over, with three bogeys offset by a lone birdie at the seventh on his card.

Porteous had the worst possible start and was eight over after three successive double bogeys from the 10th to 12th holes and another at the 14th hole.

However, the country’s number one ranked amateur managed to shave two shots off his deficit with birdies at the 16th and 17th and picked up two more birdies after the turn at the third and seventh holes. Dropped shots at the sixth and eighth holes saw him sign for a disappointing 77.

The South Africans trail the United States by 14 shots and will have to step up in Friday’s second round to strengthen their bid to become the first South African team to lift the Eisenhower Trophy since the championship launched in 1958.

To follow the live scoring, please click here

Posted in