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SA golfers set for glory battle in Korea

07 Jul 2015

South Africa’s Teaghan Gauche and Andrew van der Knaap watches as Jason Smith tees off at Naju Gold Lake Country Club in Gwangju, Korea.

The South African team declared themselves ready for the Men’s Golf Competition at the 2015 Summer Universiade in Korea after a final practice round at the Naju Gold Lake Country Club in Gwangju on Tuesday.

Teaghan Gauche, Jason Smith and Andrew van der Knaap from the TuksSport Golf Academy will represent University Sport South Africa in the 24-team competition when the 72-hole stroke play championship tees off on Wednesday.

The three South Africans will line up with a representative each from Malaysia, Ireland and France in round one.

Gauche, Smith and Van der Knaap had their first look at the championship layout in Monday’s practice round.

TuksGolf Club & Academies head coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen, who accompanied the team to Korea, said the players like the look of the course, but appreciated another chance to navigate the layout in two practice rounds.

“It’s is a great design with unbelievable views, but this layout will test your concentration and patience,” Van Leeuwen said.

The greens are going to be crucial in scoring. They are quite similar to the greens at Serengeti – very large and receptive, but with many slopes and hollows.

“The players could give themselves a lot of opportunities to score on the greens with great driving, but it is crucial to pick your target on the green with great consideration. The greens are not fast yet, but picking a wrong spot already results in a three putt.

“The players were provided with yardage books that include an in-depth green map, which is really helpful. If you try to get too aggressive at pins, you will make some soft bogeys.

“Accurate driving, clever iron play and a hot putter could see some of the players go quite low. There are a lot of hazards and tight out of bounds areas on most holes that could cause a few heads to come off.”

The only other African team contending in this year’s World Student Games are Zimbabwe’s Arther Safiriano, Moses Mugabe and Wiseman Tatenda.

The rest of the line-up includes Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China and Chinese Taipei, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, Switzerland, Thailand, Zimbabwe and representatives from Kazakhstan, Philippines, Mongolia, Ukraine and the Virgin Islands.

Although some of the country’s athletes and teams have enjoyed success, Team South Africa is still hunting its first medal.

The South Africa’s football team scored their first ever victory in the Summer Universiade when defender Lindsay Stowman and midfielder Jeremiah Nkwana helped South Africa defeat the Ukraine 3-1 at the Gochang Stadium.

South Africa’s Claudia Cummins placed 12th in the women’s individual All-Around final to achieve South Africa’s best gymnastics finish at a World Student Games, while three of South Africa’s swimmers reached individual semi-finals and the men’s 4×100-metre freestyle relay team made it to the final.

For more news from the 2015 Summer Universiade, please visit the official website at http://www.gwangju2015.com/ or view the South African progress at http://www.sascoc.co.za

Follow live updates, results and photos on Facebook - 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

 

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