Van Niekerk, Lombard give SA edge in Scotland

Zander Lombard and Werner van Niekerk were the only two players to dip into red figures in the first round of the University of St Andrews 600thAnniversary Invitational in Scotland on Thursday.

The University of Pretoria’s HPC Mens Team will take a seven shot lead over Sweden in the commemorative, invitation-only quadrangle tournament, celebrating the University’s 600th anniversary.

Lombard from Woodhill Country Club, the South African Golf Association’s leading amateur, carded a 69 while 11th ranked Van Niekerk from Pretoria posted the low score of the day when he navigated the 5,486-meter, par-70 layout of the Eden Links course in 68 strokes.

Fellow Gauteng North golfer Tokkie van den Berg added a 72 to take the SA team’s total to one-under-par 209, while Teaghan Gauche from The Els Club Copperleaf signed for the non-counting 76.

Meanwhile the Scottish Golf Union team combined for an opening 218, while the hosts posted 223

While the Mens Team seems to have settled down in St. Andrews, the HPC Women’s team will have to dig a little deeper in Friday’s second round at the Craighead course at Crail Golf Club.

Reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion Kim Williams opened with a two over 72, while the country’s leading amateur, Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland, returned a 77 and third ranked Lara Weinstein carded a 78. Emma-Jo du Bruyn signed for a non-counting 79.

Although the HPC Womens team finished just four shots behind Sweden on 17-over-par 227, they only have a one shot cushion on the University of St. Andrews side. The Scottish Golf Union finished 14 shots off the pace on 237.

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.

Back, from left to right:

Werner van Niekerk, Teaghan Gauche, Tokkie van den Berg, Zander Lombard & Johan Steyn (team manager).

Front, from left to right:

Lara Weinstein, Kim Williams, Emma-Jo du Bruyn, Nobuhle Dlamini.

Posted in