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South Africa close to booking World Cup slots

The South African teams kept their respective title defences in the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge firmly on track despite tough scoring conditions at the Royal Dar Es Salam Golf Club in Morocco on Thursday.

Kajal Mistry and Symone Henriques combined for a third round 157 to move South Africa to 471 in the Girls Competition. The defending champions carried a 44 stroke lead into Friday’s final round.

Henriques had her heart set on a red number, but battled a balky putter.

‘I was striking the ball so well, but the putts just wouldn’t drop,’ said the Glenvista junior. ‘The pin positions were actually quite nice, but conditions became quite tough when the wind came up.

‘The ball flies nicely off the tee, but then the wind finds a gap through the trees and takes it off line completely. The first cut of rough was still very wet and thick and expensive. I was disappointed with my score, especially as the weather was the best we have had all week.’

Randpark’s Mistry, too, felt despondent not to dip into red numbers. ‘Going off the eighth, we don’t have the easiest start, especially with 10, 11 and 12, which are probably the toughest holes on the course,’ said Mistry. ‘I managed birdies at 18, two and seven and the highlight of my round was the chip in birdie at seven.

‘I was also disappointed with my round. All three of us were keen to go low, but just couldn’t get the ball in the hole. I also left myself too many long putts.’

The third member of the team, Caitlyn Macnab, signed for a non-counting 78. ‘I struggled off the tee with my shots mostly going left and I had to chip out onto the fairway too often, leaving me with difficult up-and-downs to save par,’ said the Ebotse golfer. ‘My nemesis hole this week has been the 12th. I hit a good drive but found the rough. I punched out nicely and the ball landed in the middle of the fairway and almost rolled into the water. I hit a good shot into the green standing well below the ball, but then spoiled it with a three-putt bogey.’

The top two teams in both competitions qualify for the prestigious Toyota Junior World Cup in Japan. The South African girls’ team should qualify comfortably, however, it’s all to play for in second place. Morocco moved into second place with a third round 161 and lead Zimbabwe on two strokes with a 54-hole total of 515.

In the Boys Competition, reigning Sanlam South African Amateur champion Deon Germishuys, 2017 Italian Under-16 winner Martin Vorster and Werner Deyzel all returned rounds of 71 to push South Africa’s tally to 650.

The South Africa team moved 46 strokes clear of host nation Morrocco and the trio also occupy the top three spots in the same order in the individual standings.

Morocco registered a third round 228 to retain second place on 696 and it would take a special effort from Kenya, sitting in third on 743, to prevent the hosts from qualifying for Japan.

While the players braved the fairways, the coaches were treated to a view of the Moroccan Golf Federation’s High Performance Centre, which is under construction close to the course.

‘The Centre will cater for all aspects of golf and will be available to amateurs and professionals,’ said Womens Golf South Africa president Sally Greasley. ‘Every aspect has been catered for, from course management to course greenkeeping, clubhouse reception to club management, professional shopkeeping to club fitment, repairs, etc. It as a truly spectacular presentation and awe-inspiring to see where funds are being spent to grow the game of golf in Morocco.’

‘In the evening all the players were treated to a trip into the centre of Rabat. It was another fascinating experience and the competitors enjoyed the King’s palace, a mausoleum, and spending a bit of money in the market. It was a very special treat for all, because so often we only see the airport, hotel and golf course.’

Pictures of South African team members (left to right): Caitlyn Macnab, Symone Henriques, Martin Vorster, Ayden Senger, Deon Germishuys, Werner Deyzel, SA Boys manager Eden Thompson and GolfRSA National Squad sport psychologist Theo Bezuidenhout.

Boys Teams Competition
Third Round
650 South Africa 230 207 213
696 Morocco 248 220 228
743 Kenya 256 242 245
744 Uganda 255 238 251
775 Zimbabwe 276 244 255
783 Egypt 271 253 259
787 Zambia 279 254 253
795 Tanzania 273 263 259
797 Nigeria 270 261 266
801 Tunisia 277 265 259
833 Namibia 276 273 284
860 Gabon289 282 289
894 Mauritius 313 289 292

Girls Teams Competition
Third Round
471 South Africa 164 150 157
515 Morocco 178 176 161
517 Zimbabwe 185 167 165
544 Nigeria 182 184 178
547 Kenya 198 170 179
560 Tunisia 200 186 174
616 Uganda 220 193 203
627 Egypt 219 210 198

Boys Individual
Third Round
213 Deon Germishuys RSA 76 66 71
271 Martin Vorster RSA 73 73 71
227 Werner Deyzel RSA 88 68 71
228 Soufiane Dhamane MOR 78 71 79
230 Amine El Kharraz MOR 86 72 72
232 Ayden Senger RSA 81 75 76
238 Ishaq Said KEN 81 75 82
242 Mehdi El Fakori MOR 84 81 77; David Kamulindwa UGA 82 76 84
244 Mohamed Nizar Bourehim MOR 87 77 80

Girls Individual
Third Round
234 Kajal Mistry RSA 71 75 78
236 Intissar Rich MOR 82 79 75
239 Symone Henriques RSA 85 75 79
240 Caitlyn Macnab RSA 83 75 82
244 Georgia Oboh NIG 80 86 78
254 Emily Jones ZIM 90 84 80
263 Danielle Bekker ZIM 95 83 85
274 Margaret Nyamukondiwa ZIM 95 87 92
275 Fayrouz Amr Mohammed Hafez 90 98 87
277 Gachaga Kellie Wahito KEN 104 84 89