TOYOTA CITY, Japan (13 June 2017) – The United States took up where they left off in 2016 to lead the Boys and Girls Competitions, while South Africa’s teams both got off to a satisfying start in the first round of the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan on Tuesday.
The 2016 champions carded an opening round of six-under-par 207 to lead the Boys Competition by four shots. South Africa is nine shots back in sixth place on three over 216.
South Africa’s number one ranked Kajal Mistry was one of just four girls who broke par on day one.
The GolfRSA Elite Squad player fired a one-under-par 71 to help South Africa to a tie for fourth in the Girls Competition and they trail the defending champions by five shots.
“It was a pretty good day, however, the boys felt that they left a number of shots out there and they hope to neaten up on Wednesday,” said team manager Eden Thompson.
Luca Filippi, who opened the batting for South Africa, started with eight straight pars and a birdie on nine.
“Bar the sixth hole, there were never any loose shots,” Thompson said. “Luca’s tee shot stopped just short of a bunker on the par five, and he had to stand in the bunker with the ball at about hip height. He tried to advance the ball but lost the shot well right into the trees. He got back into the fairway and made a superb up-and-down for par from about 100 metres. Two bogeys on the back nine saw Luca close with a level par 71.”
Reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht carded a 73 and 2017 Nomads SA Boys U-19 champion Jayden Schaper finished with a one over 72. Garrick Higgo returned a 74.
“Christo holed two huge putts at six and seven and scrambled brilliantly for par at eight to turn level, but his back nine was a mixed bag. He spoiled a really good ball striking and putting round with a few questionable swings and strokes and the result was two bogeys on the back nine.
“Jayden was very consistent but admitted that he needed to scramble quite a bit. He went straight to the range after the round to sharpen up his approach shots to give himself more birdie chances.
“Garrick mixed a pair of birdies with two double-bogeys on the front nine and erased a bogey at 10 with a birdie at 11. But further bogeys at 13 and 15 followed. He finished birdie, par, par and also felt that his approach shots needed sharpening, so he followed Jayden to the range.
“The course is in good condition, but last year the players could be a little more aggressive with the putter as rain and humidity allowed for slightly softer greens. It is definitely playing tougher this year as the heat and dry conditions left the greens very fast and firm.”
The United States hold a one-shot lead over Australia and Italy. Mistry anchored the team with a 71, while Symone Henriques added 78 for a total of 149 and Kaleigh Telfer carded a non-counting 79.
“We share fourth spot with Colombia, France and Japan,” said Women’s Golf South Africa president Sally Greasley. “The course is immaculate and the weather was very kind in the morning with a cool breeze, but it warmed up quickly, which meant the greens got firmer and quicker.
“This resulted in a few lip-outs and bouts of frustration. It was no doubt a tough day for Symone and Kaleigh but Kajal was very steady. She started well and picked up her first birdie at the sixth. After a birdie at nine, she had seven straight pars before a bogey at 17. She left herself a very long putt after a poor chip and her par attempt just skimmed the hole.
“Symone was hitting the ball well off the tee, but her irons let her down and she struggled on the greens. She is a very positive individual, though, and goes into round two with fierce determination.
“Kaleigh started off with a magnificent birdie but immediately lost the advantage at the second. Her tee shot ended in the second cut on a small hill. She had a difficult pitch shot which she was unable to control and the result was a two-putt bogey.
“A wayward drive at the third cost her two shots, and from there, it was a case of steadying the ship and trying hard not to put herself in difficult situations. Kaleigh is very experienced and I have no doubt she will bounce back. All the girls are upbeat, though, and that is half the battle won.”
BOYS TEAM STANDINGS
207 United States
211 Japan; Thailand
216 South Africa
217 New Zealand
221 Italy; Mexico
BOYS INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS (top 10)
67 Frank Capan USA
68 Gustav Frimodt DEN
69 Clement Charmasson FRA; Kousuke Hamamoto THA; Sadom Kaewkanjana THA
70 Brandon Mancheno USA; Dimitri Mary FRA; Shota Ueki JAP; Travis Vick USA; Ren Yonezawa JAP
GIRLS TEAM STANDINGS
144 United States
145 Australia; Italy
149 South Africa, Japan, France, Colombia
GIRLS INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS (top10)
70 Benedetta Moresco ITA
71 Kajal Mistry RSA; Cory Lopez MEX; Emilia Migliaccio USA
72 Stephanie Kyriacou AUS; Yuna Nishimura JAP
73 Grace Kim AUS; Lucie Malchirand FRA; Kaitlyn Papp USA; Valery Plata COL