Van der Knaap hits stride at Universiade

2015SU_AndrewVDKnaap_LewVLeeuwenGNGUGWANGJU, Korea (10 July 2015) – Gauteng North’s Andrew van der Knaap saved his best effort for the hottest day at this year’s Summer Universiade in Gwangju, Korea.

After signing for non-counting rounds of 78 and 76 in his debut at the World Student Games, the Centurion golfer pulled out all the stops in the third round.

With the mercury at 33 degrees Celsius and humidity at 86%, Van der Knaap carded a cool one-over-par 73 to lead the South African challenge in the Men’s Golf Competition at Naju Gold Lake Country Club on Friday.

Teaghan Gauche returned a 74 to give South Africa a third round total of 147, while Jason Smith signed for a non-counting 76.

“Andrew has been solid great from tee to green and today was no different,” said TuksGolf Club & Academies head coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen.

“He knocked in a birdie putt at the fifth, but made soft bogeys on eight and nine to turn one over. He had two more birdies down the back nine, but erased them with a double at 14 where his only bad shot of the day ended out of bounds.

“He was nervous in the first round, but has improved every day. If he can get the putts to drop, he could post a very low one in the final round.

“All three players are striking the ball very well, but we are not scoring like we should. The scores may not reflect it, but they are extremely proud to represent South Africa and they are giving it everything they’ve got.

“We could see the disappointment when they walked off the course. The conditions were extremely hot and humid and we are in for another scorcher on Saturday.

“Hopefully everyone’s putters will catch fire. Pride and honour will motivate them tomorrow.”

Thai amateur Natipong Srithong kept the lead in the Individual Competition with another low round of the day. Srithong’s 66 and a 69 from team-mate Kammals Namuangruk lifted Thailand back in pole position on 416.

They lead by three from Japan and Korea, while South Africa ranks 10th in the 20-team field on 441.

The South African trio will have another reason to celebrate with Team South Africa this evening after sprinter Justine Palframan clinched  the country’s second gold medal in the 400 meters with a personal best time of 57.27 seconds.

416 Thailand 136 145 135
419 Japan 142 139 138; Republic of Korea 140 136 143
420 France 143 137 140
430 Ireland 142 142 146
431 Great Britain 139 152 140
432 Canada 146 142 144
434 Chinese Taipei 146 144 144
435 Switzerland 147 148 140
441 South Africa 144 150 147

PHOTO – Andrew van der Knaap celebrated his best round on day three of the 2015 Summer Universiade in Korea; credit USSA.