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GolfRSA teams struggle at Junior World Cup

Both South Africa’s GolfRSA teams will have to regroup after a disappointing start in the 2018 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup, supported by JAL, in Japan.

Spain’s team lit up the Ishino Course at Chukyo Golf Club to lead the boys division by two shots on 10-under 203, while Japan opened up a four-shot lead on eight-under 136 in the girls competition.

The GolfRSA girls combined for an opening six-over 150, while the GolfRSA Boys placed 10th and trail the leaders by 12 shots.

Eighty-seven of the world’s best junior golfers descended on Toyota City in Aichi-Prefecture to start the 26th edition of the prestigious event. The boys competition features 15 teams while nine teams lined up in the fifth consecutive playing of the girls competition.

The GolfRSA girls and boys teams qualified by virtue of a double victory in the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge in Morocco in March.

GIRLS COMPETITION

Kajal Mistry and Symone Henriques made a return trip to Japan and the Gauteng duo anchored the team with a pair of three-over-par 75s. New cap Caitlyn Macnab from Ekurhuleni posted a non-counting 78.

Henriques hooked her second shot into the bunker at the 10th, but she wiped out the bogey start with three birdies on the bounce from the 2nd hole.

‘I bogeyed 14th, made a stupid double at the short hole (15th) and dropped another shot at 16th, but I recovered with a birdie at 17th to turn one over,’ said the Glenvista golfer, who rallied with another birdie at the par-five 6th after starting her back nine with a double bogey at the 1st and bogey at the 2nd.

Mistry erased a bogey-bogey start with birdies at the 16th and 6th, but she surrendered another shot at the 18th and had a double bogey at the par-four 5th on her back nine.

‘It was really tricky out there because the course played a lot longer than in the Am-Am on Saturday and the practice round on Sunday in the strong, swirling wind,’ said the former Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion, who finished second overall in the individual competition last year.

‘There’s a big, tall tree in the fairway at the 5th and I hit it straight behind it. I couldn’t do anything with that and ended up three-putting the hole for a double. Otherwise it was steady. I birdied two of the par fives, but I had soft bogeys at three holes where I couldn’t up-and-down for par.’

Macnab got off a bumpy start and turned five over, but she steadied the ship down the back nine and headed down the back nine one over.

‘I started with three bogeys and had a double at 14th, but managed to par my way to the turn,’ said the Serengeti golfer. ‘After the bogey at the 1st, I sunk a nice putt for my only birdie at the 2nd and played steadily until the last hole, where I gave back another shot.

‘It was a bad ball-striking day and the putts just wouldn’t drop. I’m heading to the driving range after lunch to try and sort things out and hopefully I’ll smash it in the second round.’

BOYS COMPETITION

The GolfRSA boys were lying third through the turn, but faltered over the last nine holes to tie for 10th with Italy and Morocco.

Martin Vorster carded an even-par 71 and Deon Germishuys and Werner Deyzel contributed rounds of one-over 72, while Ayden Senger returned a non-counting 75.

‘It was a challenging day for the whole team,’ said Vorster from southern Cape, who fired five birdies.

‘We all started well, but let it go on the back nine. I hit 9-iron into the 2nd and boxed a seven-metre putt for birdie. At the 3rd, I hit a perfect drive. I had 126 metres in and hit a soft pitching wedge to give for another birdie.’

He cancelled a bogey at the 7th with a birdie at the 9th to turn two under. A triple at the 10th and bogey at the 11th cost him three shots, but Vorster got it back to level with gains at the 12th and 17th holes.

‘I hit it just over the bunker on the right at 10th,’ said the Louis Oosthuizen Junior Golf Academy member. ‘I was in thick grass and facing an uphill shot into the wind from 103 metres. I gripped down on a gap-wedge to hit a three-quarter shot, but it came out hard and I caught a flier. The ball pitched five metres over the green, hit the car-path and shot out of bounds.

‘It wasn’t the start we were hoping for, but we remain positive. Every guy on the team is aiming for sub-par rounds on Tuesday to get ourselves back in the competition.’

Deyzel from Gauteng North cancelled a bogey start with a birdie at the 2nd and turned two under with further gains at the 6th and 7th.

‘I three-putted from 10 metres at 12th, had a double at 13th after I finished against one of the little islands in the bunker and dropped another shot at 15th,’ said the Woodhill golfer.

‘I hit 3-wood down 18th and gap-wedge to nine metres and drained the putt for birdie, which was a really nice way to finish a frustrating back nine.’

Reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion Germishuys offset three bogeys with a birdie on each nine.

Fellow Western Province golfer Senger made a trio of birdies over the first nine holes and had one bogey, but the Durbanville golfer had four bogeys on the trot after the turn and dropped further shots at the 15th and 18th.

Vorster tied for 24th to lead the South African challenge in the boys individual competition, while Mistry and Henriques finished in a four-way tie for 20th in the girls individual competition.

Girls Team Leaderboard
Round One
136 Japan (68-68)
140 Korea (68-72)
142 Canada (70-72)
143 Sweden (70-73)
144 New Zealand (72-72)
145 United States (72-73)
147 Colombia (73-74)
149 Italy (74-75)
150 South Africa (75-75)

Boys Team Leaderboard
Round One
203 Spain (65-68-70)
205 Korea 66-67-72)
208 Japan (67-68-73)
210 Denmark (65-68-77); Thailand (69-69-72)
211 Mexico (69-71-71)
213 Argentina (69-72-72); Sweden (67-73-73)
214 Colombia (70-70-74)
215 South Africa (72-71-72); Italy (70-72-73); Morocco (69-71-75)
216 United States (71-72-73)
218 Canada (72-73-73)
221 New Zealand (72-74-75)

Photo: GolfRSA girls (left to right) Kajal Mistry, Caitlyn Macnab and Symone Henriques after the first round of the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup, by GolfRSA


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