SA team off to struggling start in USA

SATeam_GNGU13 October 2015 – The South African team will need to dig deep in Tuesday’s second round after the quartet made a cool start in smouldering hot weather conditions in the Spirit International at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Texas.

Teaghan Gauche from Gauteng North and Central Gauteng’s Matthew Spacey tied for 17th in the Mens Competition, while Gauteng pair Ivanna Samu and Kaleigh Telfer joined Australia in last place in the Women’s Competition. The team also placed last in the Team Competition on one-over-par 145.

“The course setup was extremely tough and both our Women’s and Men’s teams got off to a shaky start,” said Womens Golf South Africa national coach Val Holland.

“Teaghan and Matthew started on 10 and enjoyed a great birdie run to turn three under. They both birdied the par-four first, but bogeys at four and six saw them finish at one-under-par 71.

“Ivanna and Kaleigh did not have the best day, either, and were plagued with a handful of unlucky breaks.

“Ivanna birdied two and 10 and dropped a shot at 13, while Kaleigh had back-to-back bogeys at three and four and 11 and 12, but picked up a birdie at 17 to finish on two over 74.

“The course is very tough and the unseasonable hot weather was startling, but all four players remain in high spirits and determined to turn things around.”

A total of 80 players from 20 countries are contesting the prestigious biennial event at the 6,840 meter (7,480 yard) Jack Nicklaus Group designed championship course.

Norway took the early lead in the Team Competition on 14 under 130 and leads by one from Japan and Belgium.

The United States, chasing their fourth title, are five off the pace in joint seventh alongside France and Switzerland.

130 Norway
131 Japan; Belgium
132 Republic of Korea
133 Spain
134 Mexico
135 France; Switzerland; United States
136 Italy; Denmark
137 England; Finland
138 Argentina; Sweden
139 Australia
141 Canada; Colombia
142 Scotland
145 South Africa

64 Belgium; Mexico
65 Japan
66 Republic of Korea; Denmark; Switzerland

63 Norway
65 Australia
66 Republic of Korea; Spain; Japan; United States

There are only three countries who have played in every Spirit International back to the inaugural event in 2001 – United States, South Africa and Mexico.
Kim Williams from South Africa is the only player in Spirit International history to have played four consecutive times – 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013
Of the 80 international players in the field at the 2015 Spirit International, 74 are national champions or ranked number one in their home country.
The United States is the three-time defending champion – having won golf in 2009, 2011 and 2013. England is the only other multiple champion with victories in 2005 and 2007.

PHOTO – The South African team at the Spirit International; credit Teaghan Gauche, Gauteng North