SA team on the back foot in Scotland

The South African team were left with work to do after the first round of a two-day Test against Scotland at the Western Gailes Golf Club near Irvine went the way of the hosts on Wednesday.

The country’s number one and two, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Zander Lombard, combined for South Africa’s only point in the foursomes when the pair defeated Zander Culverwell and Scott Gibson 3 & 1.

NJ Arnoldi and Louis Taylor went down 2 & 1 to Jamie Savage and Bradley Neil, while reigning Sanlam SA Amateur and SA Stroke Play champions, Thriston Lawrence and Jason Smith, lost 3 & 2 to James Ross and Jack McDonald.

Scotland extended their 2 -1 lead to three points when Neil, a runner-up at the St Andrews Links Trophy on Sunday, beat Taylor 1-up.

Recent St Lytham Trophy champion Lawrence scored South Africa’s second point when he downed Savage 3 & 1 and Arnoldi, who is battling a rib muscle injury, did well to halve his game against Culverwell.

Bezuidenhout boosted South Africa’s tally when he defeated Ross 1-up, but Gibson eliminated Smith 4 & 2 and McDonald defeated recent KZN Match Play champion Lombard 4 & 3, leaving the South Africans at a distinct disadvantage.

During their sojourn to South Africa in February, the Scots claimed victory at the annual Leopard Trophy and the six South Africans were eager to renew rivalries and seek glory against their counterparts in their own backyard.

However, the hosts will take a 5.5 – 3.5 lead into the second round and the South Africans will have their job cut out if they hope to take victory on Thursday.

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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