Date: October 28, 2006

Fading chances for Australia in South Africa

Australia s chances of winning this year s Eisenhower Cup trophy in South Africa faded overnight. The team got off to a superb start but stumbled on the closing holes of the De Zalze course to slip back to 19 place with Denmark, South Africa and Portugal. Andrew Tampion made birdie on the first four holes to set the pace early for Australia. The Victorian got to five under with three holes to play until he ran into trouble off the tee on 17 (8th) and had to sign for a bogey. On the last, a relatively straightforward par-4, he failed to get up and down and took bogey for a three under 69. Won Joon Lee repeated yesterday s round of 72. But the New South Welshman missed an opportunity to finish under par. He had to settle for par on the second last hole after finding a greenside bunker with his second shot on the short par five. Lee then took double bogey on the last to watch Australia plummet down the leaderboard. A birdie or par from Tampion and Lee on the last two holes would have put Australia in contention going into the third round. Tomorrow, Australia is going to need at least 10 under to have any chance of catching overnight leaders Canada who are one shot clear of the United States with Mexico and the Netherlands sharing third spot. Team manager Matt Cutler said it was a heartbreaking finish to an otherwise solid performance. We had a big chance today but we just didn t seem to be able to capitalise on the situation, he said. In the space of 15 minutes we went from being four under for the tournament and in contention to unfortunately where we now find ourselves. If we d finished with a birdie par finish it would have put us on six under and right up there with the leading countries. Stephen Dartnell had one of his most memorable rounds of golf in his career. The West Australia was seven over for the first nine and then shot four under around the back for a 75. Cutler said the team s confidence was still positive despite the disappointing finish. He said they were all playing well and had the potential to shoot a low score. Cutler said the team had the advantage of an early tee time in the third round. We thought the early tee time might keep us from playing in the wind. But today it stayed calm all day. Maybe tomorrow the afternoon players will have to contend with the wind, which might give us some advantage. We know that we ve got a lot of work to do, but the boys are keen to get back out on the course and perform at their best. Eisenhower Cup Results day two 278 Canada 139 139 279 USA 143 136 281 Netherlands 141 140 Mexico 143 138 282 Sweden 150 132 283 Korea 146 137 284 France 142 142 Japan 145 139 Ireland 146 138 Austria 143 141 285 Malaysia 143 142 286 Spain 145 141 Scotland 144 142 New Zealand 148 138 287 England 149 138 Chinese Taipei 147 140 Wales 144 143 Germany 146 141 288 Australia 147-141