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SA quartet rally in Spirit International finale

15 Oct 2015

SA Team at the Spirit International; credit WGSA

Playing for pride, the South African team produced their best golf in the final round of the Spirit International at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Texas on Wednesday.

The country’s top ranked pair Ivanna Samu and Kaleigh Telfer fired a four under 68 to finish at three-under-par 213 in the Women’s Competition.

Telfer opened with three straight birdies and both players birdied the par-three eighth to counter a bogey from Samu at five.

Samu cancelled Telfer’s bogey at 13 with a gain at the next hole and Telfer boxed another birdie putt at the par-three 16th.

WGSA national coach Val Holland said the Gauteng duo were disappointed after opening with a 74, but took a lot of positives from the 71 in the second round.

“Kaleigh and Ivanna were determined to finish the tournament under par and put in a very determined effort in the final round,” said Holland

“They produced some fantastic iron shots and both found their touch on the greens. They dovetailed really well to finish the tournament on a high note.”

Teaghan Gauche and Matthew Spacey’s disqualification after the first round meant they could not contest the Men’s Competition and the team was disqualified from the Team Competition.

“Matt and Teaghan were still eligible to compete in the Birdie Competition, however, and made the most of their reprieve,” Holland said.

“They played really solidly from tee to green and rolled in some great putts, given the tough pin placements to finish at 10 under with an impressive seven under 65.

“Teaghan reeled in five birdies in a flawless round and Matt made four with one bogey on his card and the highlight of their round came at the sixth, when Matt holed an unbelievable approach for an eagle.”

Samu said competing in the Spirit International was the biggest honour of her amateur career.

“Despite the setbacks this week, we made the most of the opportunity and the Spirit International was truly an unbelievable experience for all four of us,” said the reigning Sanlam SA Amateur Women’s  Stroke Play champion.

“To be selected to represent South Africa at this prestigious championship is truly is the one that all South African players should strive for.”

The United States launched a spirited final round charge to lift the Team Competition title for a fourth time since 2001.

The US combined for 131 to edge out Mexico by a one shot with a total of 38-under-par 138, while their men’s team closed with a 66 to defeat France by four strokes to win the Men’s Competition on 24 under 192.

Mexico carded rounds of 64, 67 and 64 to march to a wire-to-wire victory on 21 under 195 in the Women’s Competition. France was second on 199 and Finland, Spain, Sweden and Japan shared third place on 15 under 201.

FINAL TEAM LEADERBOARD
394 (-38) United States 135 128 131
395 (-37) Mexico 134 129 132
399 (-33) Spain 133 138 128
400 (-32) France 135 132 133
404 (-28) England 137 136 131; Sweden 138 134 132
405 (-27) Republic of Korea 132 143 130; Finland 137 133 135
407 (-25) Switzerland 135 141 131
410 (-22) Scotland 142 135 133; Japan 131 139 140; Belgium 131 142 137
411 (-21) Canada 141 139 131; Colombia 141 139 131
412 (-20) Argentina 138 140 134; Norway 130 144 138
419 (-13) Denmark 136 138 145
420 (-12) Italy 136 142 142
DQ Australia; DQ South Africa

FINAL WOMEN’S LEADERBOARD (top five)
195 (-21) Mexico 64 67 64
199 (-17) England 70 67 62
201 (-15) Finland 67 68 66; Spain 67 71 63; Sweden 69 66 66; Japan 65 68 68

FINAL MEN’S LEADERBOARD (top five)
192 (-24) United States 66 60 66
196 (-20) France 68 65 63
198 (-18) Spain 66 67 65
200 (-16) Mexico 70 62 68
201 (-15) Norway 63 71 67

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

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