SA team ready for Eisenhower action in Japan
Roux from Bellville and Pretoria amateurs Zander Lombard and Jason Smith are ready to kick off South Africa’s Eisenhower Trophy challenge at the biennial World Amateur Team Championship in Japan on Wednesday.
The team played a practice round at the Iriyama Course at the Karuizawa 72 East Golf Club on Monday and completed their second practice round at the Oshitate course on Tuesday.
National coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen said the team found the Oshitate layout quite a revelation.
“The front nine at the Oshitate is a really stern test tee to green,” the TuksGolf Club and Academy head coach and technical director said.
“It is very long and tight. It has no par-five’s, but four very good par-four’s of 450 yards plus and a long par three that measures over 200 yards.
“The back nine is the scoring nine and we should take advantage of two reachable par four’s and the par 6 ninth hole.
“Both courses will reward great putting and the greens could prove to be the biggest test of skill between teams. However, I think accurate length off the tees will present an important advantage, too.”
Smith was a late inclusion and South African Golf Association vice-president Gerhard Conradie was impressed with how fast the reigning SA Stroke Play champion has adjusted to the team.
“Jason is fitting in very well and the three players are hungry to get started,” Conradie said.
“There is a great spirit among the trio and they are all relishing for the battle ahead.”
The South Africans have been drawn with Spain and Norway in the first round and will have an early start at the Iriyama Course with a 07h00 tee time.
DID YOU KNOW?
NUMBER OF TEAMS – A total of 69 teams are entered in the 29th World Amateur Team Championship, which ties for the third-largest field in Eisenhower Trophy history.
GHANA IS FIRST-TIME PARTICIPANTS – Ghana is the only country making its first appearance in the World Amateur Team Championship.
DEFENDING CHAMPION – The USA is vying to become the first team to win back-to-back WATC titles since the USA won three consecutive titles in 2000, 2002 and 2004.
HOST NATION – Japan is playing in its 29th World Amateur Team Championship. It has won four medals (gold in 1984 and silver in 1974, 1976, T1982). As the host nation in 1962, Japan finished ninth in the 23-team field with Kiyoshi Ishimoto as playing captain along with Yoshikane Hirose, Naomoto Nabeshima and Ginjiro Nakabe.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.