Date: November 01, 2006

Australia riding high in world amateur golf

Australia s performance at the recent World Amateur Teams Championship in South Africa provides a positive indicator for the game s future in this country. The women’s team finished in outright 14 place in the Espirito Santo Trophy while the men shared 12 place with Sweden, Germany and Mexico. Both the men’s and women’s teams could have finished a lot higher in the team competition. But the individual scores reflect a remarkable depth of talent in our ranks. And that s something Australia can build on when the World Amateur Teams makes its way to Royal Adelaide and The Grange Golf Cubs in 2008. In the women’s team, Frances Bondad of New South Wales posted the best four round total for Australia. Bondad had rounds of 74, 69, 78 and 72 to share 29 place with a five over par total. Her only disappointing round came on day three where she blew out with a six over par. Taking that score out, Bondad showed why she’s Australia s highest ranked amateur female golfer. Her three under 69 on the Stellenbosch course near Cape Town, was one of the best scores of the day. Emma Bennett s rise to the top of the amateur ranks over the last two years is why she’s one of the great success stories in Australian golf. The Victorian did her country proud in South Africa with a solid performance over the four days of competition. Bennett opened with a stunning three under 69 and followed that up with scores of 74, 74 and 77. Her six over total put her in joint 33 place on the individual standings and only one shot back from Bondad. Kate Combes, representing Australia for the first time, got off to a nervous start in South Africa. But the 23-year-old settled quickly and improved her results as the week progressed. Combes final round 73 was the best score for Australia in the final round. The Victorian opened with an 80 and then had two rounds of 76 to finish 17 over for the tournament. Australia s men’s team just didn t have luck on their side in the Eisenhower Cup Trophy. The closing stages of the second and third days of competition cost the team any chance of sealing victory going into the final round on the De Zalze course. Won Joon Lee spearheaded Australia s campaign. The New South Welshman finished one over par and in 34 place on the individual standings with rounds of 72, 72, 70 and 73. Lee will long remember the last two holes on both the Stellenbosch and De Zalze courses. On two days he lost several shots closing out his round. Andrew Tampion endured an up and down week in South Africa. And given his disappointing start, did a remarkable job to keep Australia in the hunt. After an opening round 75, Tampion bounced back with a superb three under 69 on the second day. He followed that up with a 70 and 74 to share 39 place in the individual results. Stephen Dartnell quickly took a liking to the South African courses when he flew in from Perth. Dartnell made solid progress after opening nervously with a five over par 77. The West Australian s fourth round 68 was the best score for the Australian team. Dartnell rattled off a string of birdies to confirm his position as a player to watch. In the individual results, he finished in 51 position from 208 players at two over par for 72 holes.