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TRINITY, Texas, United States (8 November 2019) – The GolfRSA Proteas combined for five-under-par 139 to tie for 13th in the Combined International Competition of The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Texas on Thursday.
The 19 nations contesting the 54-hole, four-ball stroke-play competition teed off in pouring rain and it was the French who handled the conditions best and shot 16-under to open up a two stroke lead over Korea and New Zealand.
“They caught the Spirit,” said French Captain Patricia Meunier LeBouc. “They were brilliant. The girls didn’t start the way they wanted; they were only 1-under on the front nine. But they kept their spirits up and stayed patient. I think that’s the key in this format.”
In the Women’s Championship, Symone Henriques and Zethu Myeki has some work to do to close the gap on frontrunners Korea.
The GolfRSA Elite Squad duo combined for two-over 74 to tie for 17th and will have to make some birdies to catch up to Ina Yoon and Lee Jeonghyun, who combined for eight-under 64 and edged one shot clear of France, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei.
However, Martin Vorster and Sam Simpson are in a strong position in the Men’s Team Competition.
The GolfRSA National Squad members fired eight birdies on their way to a five-under-par 67 and a tie for second with Australia and New Zealand. The three teams are just two shots behind Frenchman Julien Sale and Adrien Pendaris.
“I am extremely happy with the boy’s performance in trying weather conditions with intermittent rain throughout the day, but the girls found the going really tough,” said South African Golf Association President Naadir Agherdien.
“The Men’s and Women’s Individual Competition are decided on par-breakers. Martin tied for third with birdies on the first, fourth, fifth, 14th and 18th, three less than the leader Jack Trent from Australia. Sam and Symone both fired a trio of birdies and tied for 14th in their individual competitions, however Zethu failed to break par on any hole today.
“We headed straight to the range after the round to work on what needs to be fixed and the team is confident that they can perform better. It is bound to get tougher with weather conditions predicted to deteriorate, but we will continue to fight with the true South African grit that we are known for.”
Meanwhile Team USA is out of the running for the 2019 Spirit International Amateur overall title after the Women’s Team was disqualified after round one.
Emilia Migliaccio and Kaitlyn Papp signed an incorrect scorecard and was disqualified from the team competition as per the Rules of Golf.
The team recorded a 2 for Migliaccio on the par-3 third hole, but Papp was in fact the player who made the 2 on that hole. No other team score was recorded for the women’s team on the third hole. According to Rule 23.2b, which applies to Four-Ball Stroke Play, the score for the hole must be identified to the correct partner.
“Playing within the Rules is at the core of The Spirit and its competitors,” said U.S. team captain Stacy Lewis. “While Team USA is certainly disappointed, they understand the implications. The fact that Emilia and Kaitlyn want to continue to play without being in contention for the championship shows their true spirit, integrity and love of this great game.”
The USA Men’s Team will continue to compete in the championship in both the Men’s Team Championship and Men’s Individual Championship.
Written by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.
PHOTO – GolfRSA Proteas Sam Simpson, Martin Vorster, Symone Henriques and Zethu Myeki representing South Africa at The Spirit International at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Texas; credit GolfRSA.