SA team under pressure at Southern Cross
Ireland retained their overnight lead in the prestigious Southern Cross Invitational on Friday, but South Africa failed to advance despite an improved effort in the second round at the Nordelta Golf Club in Tigre.
Ireland’s Jack Hume, Gary Hurley and Gavin Moynihan combined for a total of 212 to keep the team ahead on nine under par for a second successive day.
France remained in second on six under after back-to-back rounds of 213, while Australia hung on for third place on five over with a second round 219.
South Africa brings up the rear on 17 over par after rounds of 229 and 220 and lag two strokes behind Portugal, who combined for a second round 222.
Argentina improved to sixth on nine over following a superb five under 67 from Matias Simaski.
Former SA Stroke Play champion Jason Smith was the only player in the local quartet to break par.
Smith shaved six strokes off his opening 77 and led the local challenge with a 71.
Gerlou Roux signed for a 72, Tristen Strydom carded a 77 and Hendrikus Stoop registered a non-counting 79.
Gauteng North’s Smith turned in even par after a pair of birdies and bogeys, and offset a bogey at the par-four 15th with birdies at the 14th and 17th holes.
Roux erased a double bogey at the par-four third with a hat-trick of birdies and also turned even par after dropping a shot at the par-four ninth.
The Western Province golfer had two further drops on the back nine, but negated the damage with birdies at the 13th and 15th for a solid 72.
“Jason’s great mental approach and attitude saw him fight back once again and I am sure a low round is not too far away,” said national coach, Llewellyn van Leeuwen.
“Gerlou and Tristen have both been having treatment for back problems. Gerlou’s back held up well through the first 14 holes and he fought well to finish even-par.
“Unfortunately Tristen is still suffering. He did really well and was one over through 15, but a double bogey at the 16th and a bogey-bogey finish saw him sign for a 77.”
Stoop once again started with a birdie and was one under through five holes, but a triple at the sixth and a double bogey at the eighth derailed his challenge.
“Hendrikus had two lost balls on a course that barely has rough,” Van Leeuwen said. “That is how this game tests you, though. You are always much closer than you think and you get tested the most when you are almost there.
“You just have to keep doing the right things and believe the breakthrough is around the corner, because it might come as quickly as tomorrow.”
SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD
423 Ireland 211 212
426 France 213 213
437 Australia 219 218
438 Canada 222 216
440 Chile 224 216
441 Argentina 227 214
447 Portugal 225 222
449 South Africa 229 220
To view scoring from the Southern Cross Invitational, click HERE
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.