Date: May 09, 2007

Eagle Rocks Aussies

By Alistair Hogg An eagle putt on the final hole by Great Britain has severely jeopardised Australia&aposs hopes of winning a fourth consecutive Commonwealth Tournament. Kerry Smith was deadlocked with Australian Amateur Champion Sunny Park in the day&aposs decisive battle and drained a pressure putt to win the match on the 18th and put her country in the box seat to claim the trophy. The result is a massive setback for Australia who accounted for South Africa by four points on the opening day, but now must rely on other results falling their way if they are to successfully defend their title. Britain&aposs day began positively when Kerry Smith and Naomi Edwards emerged victorious 1up over Frances Bondad and Helen Oh in the first foursomes match. However the combination of Emma Bennett and Stephanie Na put the Aussies back on level terms with a 3/2 win over Breanne Loucks and Melissa Reid. Loucks then claimed the opening singles match against Oh 3/2 but Australia once against countered with Na beating Brit Krystle Caithness by the same score. Bondad then looked to give her side the ascendancy with an emphatic 6/4 victory over Edwards but her team mates were unable to close the deal The Aussies would have fancied their chances of snatching victory in the last two matches of the contest with the Australian Amateur Champion and runner-up set to take to the course. But Bennett was simply overwhelmed by Reid going down 4/2, leaving Park the sole Australian on course with scores level. Despite an eagle on the sixth hole and numerous birdies throughout her round, the Australian Amateur Champion was unable to break through for her first international win. Smith hit a glorious 200-metre drive from the tee leaving her with a good opportunity to find the green in two. The Brit managed to do just that, leaving herself with a tough but make able 25-foot eagle chance. She found the cup for eagle, winning the match, sealing the contest and putting Britain in a dominant position at the half-way mark of the tournament. The Brits are undefeated at the top of the table with matches against New Zealand and hosts South Africa to come. Meanwhile, the Kiwis opened their campaign with a surprise loss after an opening day bye. New Zealand was beaten by Canada who succumbed to Great Britain on day one without winning a match. The Canadians claimed both foursomes matches and the opening singles leaving their opponents with a mountain to climb. Yeon Song Kim, Tammy Clelland and Da Som Lee dug deep to give the Kiwis hope but experienced campaigner Penny Lee was unable to clinch a half for the New Zealanders, losing 4/3 to Maude Aimee Leblanc. The Kiwis take on tournament leaders Great Britain today while Canada looks to take their positive form into their clash against host nationa South Africa. Australia has a bye. TABLE Great Britain 2 (11pts) Australia 1 (8 1/2pts) Canada 1 (4pts) New Zealand 0 (3pts) South Africa 0 (1 1/2pts) DAY TWO RESULTS Great Britain v Australia (4/3) Foursomes Kerry Smith/Naomi Edwards (GBR) d. Frances Bondad/Helen Oh (AUS) 1up Emma Bennett/Stephanie Na (AUS) d. Breanne Loucks/Melissa Reid (GBR) 3/2 Singles Breanne Loucks (GBR) d. Helen Oh (AUS) 3/2 Stephanie Na (AUS) d. Krystle Caithness (GBR) 3/2 Frances Bondad (AUS) d. Naomi Edwards (GBR) 6/4 Kerry Smith (GBR) d. Sunny Park (AUS) 1up Melissa Reid (GBR) d. Emma Bennett (AUS) 4/2 Canada v New Zealand (4/3) Foursomes Maude Aimee Leblanc/Sue Kim (CAN) d. Tammy Clelland/Penny Smith (NZL) 1up Mary Ann Lapointe/Meaghan Leblanc (CAN) d. Da Som Lee/Yeon Song Kim (NZL) 5/4 Singles Mary Ann Lapointe (CAN) d. Larissa Eruera (NZL) 6/5 Yeon Song Kim (NZL) d. Lindsay Knowlton (CAN) 2up Tammy Clelland (NZL) d. Meaghan Leblanc (CAN) 1up Da Som Lee (NZL) d. Sue Kim (CAN) 1up Maude Aimee Leblanc (CAN) v Penny Smith (NZL) 4/3