Thailand Juniors make clean sweep in India

Being runner-up is never the goal of our young golfers, but two of the South African players participating in the 4th Albatross International Junior Golf Championship in India had to settle for second place in their respective divisions.

Cara Gorlei, who led after both the 1st and 2nd rounds, couldn’t match the 1 under par final round of Thailand’s Benyapa Niphatsophon. Cara turned level par, but a few bogey holes on the second nine with no birdies saw her post a final round of 77, with a total of 227 (73, 77, 77 – 11 over par) for the tournament. Her South African team mate, Magda Kruger who had a somewhat unhappy 2nd round, played more consistently in the final round and finished on 231 (75, 81, 75 – 15 over par) in 3rd position.

The Western Province youngster, Luca Filippi caused a lot of excitement amongst the South Africans, especially his dad Daniel and grandfather Mario who had joined the group in India to watch Luca compete in his first international event. Playing in the final group of the Boys B category, the Thai wonder boy, Puwit Anupansuebsai, started with a 2 shot advantage over Luca, with local favourite, Piyush Sangwan 3 shots off Luca. Playing the 15th, Luca was 3 shots off the leader for the championship which changed to a 1 shot deficit when Luca birdied the 15th and Puwit 3 putted. Another error on the 17th by Puwit found Luca tied for the B division going down the 18th. The Thai was able to putt first, and Luca, whose second shot landed in the greenside bunker, needed his putt for a play-off. It was not to be, and Luca finished runner-up of the Boys B category on 221 (74, 72, 75 – 5 over par).

Robert Bougas, the other Western Province team member, played solidly and turned level par. The second nine produced two birdies, but a few bogeys resulted in a final score for round 3 of 74. His final total of 228 (77, 77, 74 – 12 over par) put him in 5th position in the Boys A category.

Thailand made a clean sweep of all the team competitions, with the South African girls 2nd in the A/B Girls Team competition, and the Western Province boys 3rd in the A/B Boys Team competition. The players return home later this evening.

Cynthia Rayner


Pictured above: Luca Filippi and Cara Gorlei, both from Western Province and Milnerton Golf Club, were runners-up in India.

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