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SA golfers on the back foot in Argentina as Ireland make the pace
- Updated: March 27, 2015
Ireland edged ahead of France in the first round of the prestigious Southern Cross Invitational, while South Africa and host nation Argentina battled in the opening round at the Nordelta Golf Club in Tigre.
Jack Hume, Gary Hurley and Gavin Moynihan put Ireland in pole position on five-under-par 211 with respective rounds of 69, 70 and 72.
Reigning SA Stroke Play champion Ugo Coussaud led the way for the French with a three under 69 and the team lag just two strokes behind the Irish.
Australia took third on 219, followed by Canada on 222. Chile placed fifth on 224, while Portugal finished in sixth on 225.
Argentina’s Andres Gallegos carded a 75, while compatriots Nicolas Lezcano and Matias Simaski contributed rounds of 76 to team’s total of 11 over 227.
Tristen Strydom opened with a 75, and Jason Smith and Gerlou Roux added 77s to give South Africa an opening score of 229. Hendrikus Stoop scored a non-counting 81.
‘This was not the ideal start for us and we are all disappointed,’ said national coach, Llewellyn van Leeuwen. ‘The players were off to a solid start and the team was two under through five holes, but disaster struck at the sixth hole.’
‘Jason’s tee shot plugged against the bunker’s lip and from there, everything that could go wrong, went wrong and he walked off with a hefty nine.’
Smith managed to shave a stroke off a six-shot deficit with a birdie at the ninth to and navigated the back nine in even-par as the windy conditions worsened. Strydom birdied the sixth, but Roux and Stoop also ran into trouble at the tough par four.
‘Tristen turned in even-par, but dropped four shots against a lone birdie at the par-three 16th on the back,’ Van Leeuwen said. ‘Gerlou and Hendrikus both had their momentum broken with double bogeys at the tough sixth.’
Roux turned two over and shot three over 39 on the back nine, while Stoop had loops of 40 and 41.
‘This was obviously not how we wanted to get our campaign underway, but excuses are for losers,’ ‘Unfortunately Tristen and Gerlou are still battling back problems, but they are fighting with everything they have,’ Van Leeuwen said
‘We are on the back-foot and we will have to pull together on Friday to improve our standing.’
Picture of Strydom courtesy of Roger Sedres/ImageSA
First round leaderboard
211 – Ireland
213 – France
219 – Australia
222 – Canada
224 – Chile
225 – Portugal
227 – Argentina
229 – South Africa