SA team sweep into lead at Africa Zone VI
Zander Lombard set the tone for South Africa’s title defence at the Africa Zone VI Golf Championships when he defeated Malawi’s Ben Wandawanda at Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate on Tuesday.
The first South African out in a brutal South-easterly wind secured the first point with a convincing 8 & 7 victory. Inspired, the remaining seven all hit winning notes for a clean sweep in the singles.
South Africa tops the log on eight points ahead of Kenya, who scored 6.5 and holds a slender half-point edge on Swaziland.
Zimbabwe and Mauritius are tied for fourth on five points, with Namibia in sixth on 4.5.
SA Stroke Play champion Jason Smith won 4 & 3 against Uganda’s Ronald Otile and Sanlam SA Amateur champion Thriston Lawrence whipped Jeremy D’Argent from Mauritius 7 & 5.
The country’s number one, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, collected the fourth point with a 5 & 4 win against Paul Ndeilenga from Namibia.
NJ Arnoldi, Louis Taylor and Stefan Cronje added to the tally.
Arnoldi won 6 & 5 against Mothusi Semoko from Lesothu and Taylor beat Peter Munyinya from Zambia 6 & 4. Stefan Cronje secured the team’s seventh point.
Having battled to protect a 1-up lead through 12 holes, Cronje launched with a spirited attack over the next two holes to defeat Antonio Tcheco from Mozambique 5 & 4.
Meanwhile Gerlou Roux was being held against the ropes by Zimbabwe’s Stuart Krogg.
With the forecast calling for strong wind to blow in the afternoon, national coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen put the Western Province wind-expert in the final match.
The wind didn’t show, but Zimbabwean number one did.
“Gerlou had a huge fight on his hands with Stuart,” Van Leeuwen said. “He was up against it coming down the back stretch, but fought back with a huge birdie at the 17th to lead one up.”
Roux is well-known for his never-say-die attitude and put his determination on show when – under huge pressure – he drained an eight-footer for par to win.
“The whole team performed great and Gerlou came through when it counted the most,” said the Tuksgolf Club and Academies head coach and technical director.
“I’m thrilled that we took eight points, because some of the matches were a lot closer than the results suggest. It is nice, though, to have a little cushion going into the second round foursomes and fourballs.”
FIRST ROUND LEADERBOARD
8 South Africa
5 Zimbabwe; Mauritius
3 Malawi; Zambia
2.5 Botswana; Lesotho