Date: May 08, 2007
Author: Alistair Hogg

Aussies start well in South Africa

By Alistair Hogg Australia has opened their campaign for a fourth successive Commonwealth Tournament in style with a four-point win over hosts South Africa. Australia leapt to a 2-0 lead after the morning foursomes when the combinations of Frances Bondad/Helen Oh and Emma Bennett/Stephanie Na accounted for their opponents 2/1 and 3/1 respectively. The story kept getting better for the Aussies in the afternoon as they raced out to an unassailable lead with victories to Oh, Na and Bondad in their singles matches. However the hosts managed to salvage some late pride when Kelli Shean rained on Sunny Park&aposs Australian representative debut with a 4/3 win and Ashleigh Simon finished all square with Victorian Emma Bennett. Simon was the leading amateur in the 2007 MFS Women&aposs Australian Open and her clash with Australia&aposs number two ranked player was the most anticipated of the day. The contest went right down to the wire and a birdie on the final hole was enough for the South African to claim half a point against Australian Amateur runner-up Bennett who was once again denied in the closing stages of a match play contest. Despite their emphatic win, Australia sits in second position overall after Great Britain trounced Canada 7-0. Melissa Reid was the standout player for Britain as she won her morning foursomes with Breanne Loucks and carded five birdies on her way to a 6/4 afternoon singles win over MaryAnn LaPointe. Australia&aposs next assignment begins at 4:30pm (AEST) against Great Britain. Given the opening day form of both teams, the contest is shaping up to be pivotal in deciding the overall winner. New Zealand, who had an opening day bye open their campaign against Canada while South Africa has a day to regroup for its next match. DAY ONE RESULTS Great Britain v Canada (7/0) Foursomes Kerry Smith/Naomi Edwards (GBR) d. Maude-Aimee Leblanc/Lindsay Knowlton (CAN) 2/1 Breanne Loucks/Melissa Reid (GBR) d. MaryAnn Lapointe/Meaghan Leblanc (CAN) 4/2 Singles Breanne Loucks (GBR) d. Maude Aimee Leblanc (CAN) 4/3 Krystle Caithness (GBR) d. Sue Kim (CAN) 2/1 Naomi Edwards (GBR) d. Lindsay Knowlton (CAN) 1up Kerry Smith (GBR) d. Meaghan Leblanc (CAN) 3/1 Melissa Reid (GBR) d. MaryAnn LaPointe (CAN) 6/4 Australia v South Africa (5 /1 ) Foursomes Frances Bondad/Helen Oh (AUS) d. Gina Switala/Iliska Verwey (SAF) 2/1 Emma Bennett/Stephanie Na (AUS) d. Kelli Shean/Ashleigh Simon (SAF) 3/2 Singles Helen Oh (AUS) d. Bertine Strauss (SAF) 4/3 Stephanie Na (AUS) d. Gina Switala (SAF) 7/6 Frances Bondad (AUS) d. Iliska Verwey (SAF) 4/3 Kelli Shean (SAF) d. Sunny Park (AUS) 4/3 Emma Bennett (AUS) v Ashleigh Simon (SAF) AS