Tough start for SA Team in New Zealand
Although the South Africa team were slow of the blocks in the overall competition at the inaugural Four Nations Cup in New Zealand, Haydn Porteous put in a solid performance for a share of the individual lead at The Hills in Arrowhead.
The 17-year-old Kyalami golfer carded a one-under-par 71 on a picture perfect day on the world class championship layout to tie Australian Maverick Antcliffe for the lowest first round score.
After an early morning frost delay, it was the Australian team that set the pace to finish on a team total of 216. The Argentinean team took second on 220 while the host nation finished on 223, with South Africa taking last place on 225.
The three counting scores came from Porteous, Ruan de Smidt (76) and Brandon Stone (78) after Jared Harvey was disqualified in the first round of the stroke play tournament.
The reigning SA Amateur Stroke play champion finished with three successive bogeys, but signed for a six instead of seven on the par-5 17th and was subsequently disqualified for the round for signing for an incorrect score.
South African Golf Association’s Executive Director Bruce Younge said Harvey was predictably upset about his performance over the closing holes and just didn’t pay enough attention when he signed for a 76 instead of a 77.
“He is pretty cut up about his round and the scoring mistake,” said Younge. “As a team, we talked it over with him. We all realise that these things unfortunately happen. One just has to bounce back as quick as possible and I have no doubt he will come back fighting and make amends for this blunder.”
Younge said it’s a tough course and poor putting and a couple of wayward tee shots was the undoing of the team.
“The greens really got to them,” he said. “Fortunately Haydn made the putts that counted, but the others really struggled to read the breaks on the greens others.
“I think a lapse of concentration could be blamed for some of the wrong choices off the tees, but it’s early days yet and our boys can still turn this around.”
Round One – Individual scores:
71 Maverick Antcliffe (Australia), Hadyn Porteous (South Africa)
72 Ryan Fox (New Zealand), Brett Drewitt (Australia), Jorge Fernandez Valdes (Argentina)
73 Franco Romero (Argentina), Ryan Peake (Australia)
75 Ben Campbell (New Zealand), Thomas Baik (Argentina)
76 Ruan De Smidt (South Africa), Mat Perry (New Zealand)
77 Todd Sinnott (Australia), Vaughan McCall (New Zealand), Martin Kim (Argentina)
78 Brandon Stone (South Africa)
DQ Jared Harvey (South Africa)
Round One – Team scores:
223 New Zealand
225 South Africa
The Four Nations Cup is an amalgamation of two tournaments the Four Nations (between NZ, Australia, Japan and Canada) and the Southern Cross Cup (between NZ, Australia, South Africa and Argentina) becoming one Stroke Play event. The four international teams (NZ, Australia, South Africa and Argentina) are made up of four male players with the best three scores counting each day. One round of golf will be played each day for four days.