SA duo rusty in Argentina

2014-11-11 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s Jason Smith and NJ Arnoldi combined for a ninth place finish in the 43rd Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup at the Los Lagartos Country Club in Pilar, Argentina, on Sunday.

Arnoldi from Ekurhuleni, carded rounds of 71, 77 and 74, closing with a three-under-par 68 for a final total of 290.

Smith from Gauteng North, opened with a two over 73 and added rounds of 76 and 75 before a 73 in the final round to contribute 297 to the team’s tally.

The South African duo was joint fifth after an opening round 144, but slipped to joint 10th after a second round 153. They held on to 10th with 149 in the third round and the final round 141 moved them to ninth overall with a final tally of 587.

“We are obviously disappointed with the result, but pleased that we managed to improve as the tournament progressed,” said Smith.

The TuksSport Golf Academy member added the week had been a frustrating one from the moment they arrived.

“We flew in early to get acclimatised but it rained non-stop for three days and we barely got to play a full practice round before the tournament started,” he said.

“NJ and I were both hitting the ball incredibly well and didn’t miss many fairways, but we just couldn’t get any momentum going. We both struggled to read these undulating greens — you could have a six foot putt that breaks two ways and the near-misses were mentally exhausting.”

The conditions also had a say in the pair’s performance.

“In the third round, a three-club wind gusted from every direction to make our task even more difficult, yet we are both encouraged that we improved over the last two rounds,” said Smith.

“We are both positive ahead of the Argentinean Amateur this week.”

The South African pair will line up in the stroke play qualifier for the sixth oldest Amateur Championship at the nearby Highland Park Country Club along with a host of local nationals and 22 of the international campaigners in the Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup.


554 Canada 141-137-139-137

573 Spain 144-146-144-139

557 Chile 142-144-146-145

579 Argentina 142-146-152-139

581 Switzerland 148-147-143-143; Venezuela 149-148-148-144

582 New Zealand 145-147-150-140; Ireland 146-145-149-142

587 South Africa 144-153-149-141

593 Brazil 148-145-152-148.

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