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SA duo take fifth in Argentina team event
- Updated: November 18, 2015
Eric Banks and Tony Gil claimed back-to-back victories for Canada in the 44th Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup in Argentina at the weekend, while top-ranked South African pair Tristen Strydom and Teaghan Gauche claimed a fifth place finish in the 20th International Team Tournament to extend SA’s proud history in the event.
Strydom and Gauche combined for 149 in the final round to finish with a 54-hole total of 438. They lagged five shots behind Banks and Gil, who overcame a three shot deficit with 145 to triumph on 433.
‘The first round was called off due to torrential rain, but three days later, the course was still unbelievably wet and muddy,’ said Gauche (pictured above).
‘It’s a long layout and the wet conditions meant the course played even longer. The course is very tight with a lot of trees lining the fairways, so you really had to be on. If you missed the fairway even a fraction, you had so much mud on your ball that it was almost impossible to hit the greens.
‘The fairways are so narrow, though, that inevitably you will miss one of two and then you were looking at a big number. It was a fantastic experience for Tristen and I and we are really proud that we were able to bring home a top five finish.’
Strydom and Gauche’s achievement marks the fifth consecutive year that a South Africa team finished inside the top 10 in this prestigious team event.
Former Masters champion Immelman and Sunshine Tour winner Ulrich van den Berg claimed a first victory for South Africa in 1999 and former Sanlam SA Amateur champion Ryan Dreyer partnered with JG Claassen in 2008 to claim the country’s second title.
Jared Harvey and Graham van der Merwe placed third in 2011, Drikus Bruyns and CJ du Plessis finished fourth in 2012 and Gerlou Roux and Callum Mowat placed fifth in 2013. Last year, South African pair Jason Smith and NJ Arnoldi combined for a ninth place finish.
Meanwhile five-time champions Australia and Brazil both carded 149 to tie for second on 434, while the host nation edged out South Africa for sole fourth with a final round 152.
Gauche’s rounds of 71, 69 and 75 saw him tie for fourth in the Individual Competition – three off the pace from winner Matias Siminski from Argentina – while Strydom carded rounds of 77, 72 and 74 to grab a share of 29th.
The South African pair will use the next two days to prepare for the 36-hole Stroke Play Qualifier for the 120th Argentine Amateur Championship, which tees off at Tortugas Country Club on Wednesday.
INTERNATIONAL TEAM COMPETITION
433 Canada 149 139 145
434 Australia 143 142 149; Brazil 148 137 149
437 Argentina 145 140 152
438 South Africa 148 141 149
439 Switzerland 147 144 148
441 Uruguay 149 143 149
442 Ireland 151 147 144
444 Chile 150 144 150
446 Spain 155 144 147
450 Italy 148 146 156; Mexico 149 149 152
453 Portugal 150 151 152
459 Colombia 150 154 155; Peru 153 150 156
470 Venezuela 159 154 158