Solid start from SA squad in Scottish Test
The six-man South African team put in a solid first round showing against their opposite numbers from the Scottish Golf Union’s (SGU) National Men’s Squad at Prestwick Golf Club on Wednesday.
The South Africans went into lunch trailing by one after halving two games and losing one in the foursomes, but CJ du Plessis, Drikus Bruyns and Shaun Smith stepped up in the Singles to ensure that the margin stayed the same going into the final round.
The Scots went 3-1 when Graeme Robertson beat Haydn Porteous 2&1, but Limpopo’s Du Plessis closed the gap when he knocked out Brian Soutar, the reigning Sanlam SA Amateur Match Play champion 6&4.
Smith from the Southern Cape levelled the score when he beat 2011 SA Match Play runner-up, Paul Shields at the 18th and Bruyns from Boland put the South Africans in the lead when he beat Scottish debutant Adam Dunton 2&1.
But the Scots hit back, winning the last two matches to take the lead at 5-4.
Earlier in the day, Gert Myburgh from Ekurhuleni and the Western Province’s JP Strydom got hammered on the greens in the foursomes and their putting woes continued in the Singles. Myburgh lost his match 3&2 to Fraser McKenna, while Scottish number one, James White, defeated Strydom by the same margin.
“The players are enjoying the chance to experience the true links on the Ayshire coast, where the first Open Championship was held back in 1860,” said South African Golf Association president, Colin Burger.
“They are coping well with the tight fairways, the testing rough and the abundance of pot bunkers, but some of them still need to come to grips with the wide, undulating greens. Of course we hope to win this test, but win or lose, the experience gained at this prestigious course is invaluable.”