8 March 2018

South Africa: Strong Start By SA Junior Teams in Morocco

Both South African teams made a strong start to the country's title defence in the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge in Morocco, despite torrential rain and winds gusting up to 50km per hour that tormented the international field at the Royal Dar Es Salam Golf Club in Rabat this week.

Kajal Mistry and Caitlyn Macnab combined for an opening round of 164 to edge 14 shots clear of the host nation in the Girls Competition, with Nigeria slipping into third place on 182.

Martin Vorster, Deon Germishuys and Ayden Senger posted 230 to take the top spot in the Boys Competition. The team lead by 18 shots from Morocco and are 25 strokes clear of third-placed Uganda.

Mistry shot 81 and Macnab produced a round of 83 in her debut for South Africa, while the third member of the team Symone Henriques returned a non-counting 85.

'The course is beautifully presented, but the weather was absolutely dreadful,' said Womens Golf South Africa president Sally Greasley. 'I was extremely proud of the South African trio. The girls were simply fantastic. They just got on with what they needed to do, grinding away and accepting the good with the bad.

'The Moroccans have been exceptional hosts, and hosted a fantastic opening ceremony where each country was called up onto the stage as their flag was projected onto a big screen. A very nice touch was that all the competitors were introduced individually.

'We were excited to learn that eight girls teams are competing this year, which is two more than in the inaugural Girls Competition last year. Some of the players have never participated in an international competition, and the first day was especially tough on them.

'All the girls started on the eighth hole in the worst of the weather and the back nine is definitely the most difficult. The course held up extremely well with just a few bunkers filled with water. They are growing the rough for the European Tour's Trophy Hassan in a couple of weeks, so it's being cut to 70mm and was really penalising, especially in the wet weather. Any errant shots were severely penalised. The pins were challenging, but tempting and a few shots were lost to succumbing to temptation.'

Reigning Italian Under-16 champion Vorster set the pace for the SA Boys team with a one-over-par 73 in the Boys Competition. Newly-crowned Sanlam South African Amateur champion Germishuys shot 76, Senger carded 81 and Werner Deyzel returned a non-counting 88.

'The course was opened for action just a few weeks ago stood up spectacularly well but nature was hell bent on making the players work for every shot,' said team manager Eden Thompson.

'The rain did not let up until about 2pm and when we got the first tee, the squeegees were already out in full force. The second hole, despite being positioned on a high spot, was filled to the brim with water. The club and rules staff, however, did their utmost to keep play under way.

'Considering conditions, which I legitimately think were worth 4-5 shots over the first six hours of play, the team really did well to keep the score line to what they did. Due to preferred lies, Martin's one-over 73 did not stand as the club record. He managed his game well and although he dropped a few shots, he kept tight control of his emotions and helped to put us in a very strong position.

'Deon had a really solid start, but unfortunately as he turned back into the storm, holes nine, 10 and 11 took their toll as he dropped three successive shots before steadying the round. Ayden also got off to a good start despite a couple of three-putts and also couldn't stop the lost shots on the back nine. On 16 he hit his tee shot down the left side of the fairway, but it must have plugged somewhere and the return to the tee cost Ayden a double bogey.

'Werner made a reasonable start but fought a wayward driver, which on this course led to bogeys and he struggled to get back on track. By the 12th hole, it seems frustration got the better of him and some poor decisions allowed for compounding mistakes resulted in an 88.

'The greens were quite slow but they are soft and it makes target golf a possibility. The thick rough resulted in a lot of lost balls and the need to hack the ball back into play. The difficulty of the course means the players' minds don't stray from the target too often.

'With the prospect of only 'light showers', we will be looking to the team to get into their rounds early tomorrow and slowly eradicated the errors and frustration of today.'

Picture of the SA team (back, left to right): Martin Vorster, Deon Germishuys, Ayden Senger, Werner Deyzel and SA Boys Team manager Eden Thompson, Front, left to right: Kajal Mistry, Symone Henriques, Caitlyn Macnab and SA Girls Team manager, Womens Golf South Africa president Sally Greasley courtesy of GolfRSA

Girls Teams Competition - Round One Scores

164 South Africa

178 Morocco

182 Nigeria

185 Zimbabwe

198 Kenya

200 Tunisia

219 Egypt

220 Uganda

Boys Teams Competition - Round One

230 South Africa

248 Morocco

255 Uganda

256 Kenya

270 Nigeria

271 Egypt

273 Tanzania

276 Zimbabwe

276 Namibia

277 Tunisia

279 Zambia

289 Gabon

313 Mauritius

Girls Individual - Round One

80 Georgia Oboh NIG

81 Kajal Mistry RSA

82 Intissar Rich MOR

83 Caitlyn Macnab RSA

85 Symone Henriques RSA

90 Fayrouz Hafez EG; Emily Jones ZIM

95 Danielle Bekker ZIM; Margaret Nyamukondiwa ZIM

96 Rim Imni MOR

Boys Individual - Round 1

73 Martin Vorster RSA

76 Deon Germishuys RSA

78 Soufiane Dhamane MOR

81 Ayden Senger RSA; Ishaq Said KEN

82 Kibugu Mutahi KEN; David Kamulindwa UGA

84 Mehdi el Fakori MOR

85 Henco Rieckert NAM; William Geach ZIM

88 Werner Deyzel RSA

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