SA teams edge ahead in Scotland
The eight teams competing in the University of St Andrews 600thAnniversary Invitational in Scotland were greeted by a brutal North Sea wind on the second day of the invitation-only quadrangle tournament, but the South African had the best handle on the conditions at the Craighead course on Friday to edge ahead at the halfway point.
The HPC Mens Team took a seven shot lead into the second round at the Crail Golf Club, while the HPC Womens Team trailed the Scandinavian School of Golf by four shots after the first round at the Eden course in St. Andrews
SA number one Zander Lombard and Teaghan Gauche both signed for 76 while Werner van Niekerk contributed a 77 to give the South Africans a second round total of 229 and a 36-hole total of 438.
The Scottish Golf Union carded a 230 to finish 10 shots back in second place, while the Swedish team took third on 453 with a second round 237.
The local favourites remained in fourth on 483 with their second effort of 258.
The HPC Womens Team also enjoyed more success in the wind, with Nobuhle Dlamini coming home in 77, Kim Williams carding a 79 and Emma-Jo du Bruyn adding an 80 for a total of 236.
This saw the HPC Womens Team leapfrog Sweden for first place with a 36-hole total of 463.
Sweden combined for a total of 246 to lag six shots behind South Africa, while the Scottish Golf Union carded a 252 to finish third on 489.
The St. Andrews University side brings up the rear on 491 after signing for a 263.
Tuksgolf Club and Academies head coach and technical director Llewellyn van Leeuwen said it was an impressive performance from both teams, given the brutal conditions.
“I think all eight players performed very well, given the unfamiliar conditions,” he said.
“They field teed off in windy conditions of around 50-60 km per hour. Zander struggled to convert and made some soft bogeys along the way, but while most of the field faltered over the closing holes, he finished birdie-par-par.
“Werner was three under through 11 holes, but made two huge numbers – an eight at the 12th and a seven at the 18th. He probably played 10 shots better than the field through 16 holes.
“Teaghan also had a couple of soft bogeys, but he is such a gritty campaigner with a great never-say-die attitude. He fought incredibly hard for his 77.”
Van Leeuwen was also proud to see the HPC Womens team take control.
“Nobuhle played much better than in the first round and better than her score suggests,” he said.
“Kim held on very well on a day that was mentally very challenging for her. A player of her calibre also bounces back great rounds when they are able to hang on as well as she did.
“Emma hit the ball great and fought all the way. A late penalty in her round was unfortunate, but she still performed exceptional under the circumstances.”
Van Leeuwen also had some words of praise for Tokkie van den Berg and Lara Weinstein, whose respective rounds of 80 and 84 did not count towards the team total.
“Tokkie got penalised for some great shots, but that’s the story of links golf. You have to take the bad breaks on the chin and I’m sure he will bounce back tomorrow.
“Lara has a great attitude and loads of talent and has the makings to become a great player. She will also convert the valuable lessons she learned from playing in these the tough conditions.”
The third round will be contested at the 6,400-meter, cliff top hugging Torrance Course at the Fairmont for the third round and the teams will return to the Fairmont St Andrews Resort for the final on the Gene Sarazen-designed, par-72 Kittocks course.