SA duo struggle in Round 1 of World Cup of Golf

Jaco van Zyl (Sunshine Tour)
Jaco van Zyl (Sunshine Tour)

Cape Town - South African duo Jaco van Zyl and George Coetzee have struggled in the opening round of the World Cup of Golf at Kingston Heath in Melbourne on Thursday.

The pair carded a four-over-par 76 in the alternate-shot format after mixing five bogeys with a lone birdie, to lie 25th in the 28-team field.

Van Zyl and Coetzee find themselves seven shots behind early front-runners, Spain's Rafael Cabrera Bello and Jon Rahm, who hold a one-shot lead over the USA, China and France.

Prior to the opening round, Van Zyl chatted to Sport24 about representing South Africa and partnering with Coetzee.

"We are very excited to get the tournament started, we are going to go out there and do our best," said Van Zyl.

"There is no one in particular we will be watching (out for), I think as long as we do what we came to do, we won't have to target the other countries."

This isn't the first time Van Zyl has represented his country, after he participated with Brandon Stone in golf's 102-year return to the Olympics in Rio this year.

"It is very different to the Olympics, this is a team event where we rely on each other. It's going to be a lot of fun playing the foursomes and better ball with George," Van Zyl said.

Van Zyl went on to thank South Africans for all their ongoing support for the duration of the tournament.

The World Cup of Golf is a 72-hole stroke-play event with teams playing alternate-shot foursomes on Thursday and Saturday and fourballs on Friday and Sunday.

Scores Thursday after the foursomes - alternate shot - first round of the World Cup at the par-72 Kingston Heath course in Melbourne:

69 - Spain (Rafa Cabrera Bello/Jon Rahm) 

70 - USA (Rickie Fowler/Jimmy Walker), China (Wu Ashun/ Li Haotong), France (Victor Dubuisson/Romain Langasque)

71 - Italy (Francesco Molinari/Matteo Manassero), England (Chris Wood/Andy Sullivan)

72 - Sweden (Alex Noren/David Lingmerth), Denmark (Soren Kjeldsen/Thorbjorn Olesen), Ireland (Shane Lowry/Graeme McDowell)

73 - Belgium (Thomas Pieters/Nicolas Colsaerts), Austria (Bernd Wiesberger/Martin Wiegele), Japan (Hideki Matsuyama/Ryo Ishikawa), Thailand (Thongchai Jaidee/Kiradech Aphibarnrat)

74 - Wales (Bradley Dredge/Stuart Manley), Germany (Alex Cejka/Stephan Jaeger), Venezuela (Jhonattan Vegas/Julio Vegas), Portugal (Ricardo Gouveia/Jose-Filipe Lima), Taiwan (Pan Cheng-tsung/Chan Shih-chang), India (SSP Chawrasia/S. Chikkarangappa), South Korea (An Byeong-Hun/K.T. Kim), Australia (Adam Scott/Marc Leishman)

75 - Netherlands (Joost Luiten/Darius van Driel), Canada (David Hearn/Adam Hadwin), New Zealand (Danny Lee/Ryan Fox)

76 - South Africa (Jaco van Zyl/George Coetzee)

77 - Philippines (Miguel Tabuena/Angelo Que), Malaysia (Danny Chia/Nicholas Fung)

78 - Scotland (Russell Knox/Duncan Stewart)

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