Date: October 27, 2006

Slow start for Australia in wind swept South Afric

Australia got off to a shaky start in the first round of the World Amateur Championship in South Africa overnight. The three-member team found scoring difficult on the Stellenbosch course to finish in 22 position. Australia is eight shots behind leaders Canada who managed to combine a five under par round 139 to be two shots clear of the Netherlands with France a further shot adrift. Won Joon Lee was the best Australian with an even par 72. His round included one bogey and one birdie. The New South Welshman couldn’t get the putts to drop and had plenty of opportunities to post one of the few sub par rounds of the day. Victorian Andrew Tampion got off to a bad start after hitting his first drive out of bounds. He racked up three bogies before clawing himself back into contention to be one over at the turn. Like Lee, Tampion found the greens difficult. He had to settle for a three over par 75 after dropping two shots on the closing stretch. Stephen Dartnell endured a roller coaster day with an eagle on 14 to get himself to two over. But the West Australian racked up three bogies on the last four holes for a disappointing finish. Dartnell will be looking to improve on his five over 77 tomorrow when the team get the advantage of an early tee time on the adjoining De Zalze course near Cape Town. Team captain Matt Cutler said strong winds and difficult greens combined to make scoring difficult. All the boys had trouble on the greens to be honest, he said. Given the circumstances, I think the scores were about where they deserved to be. We were hoping to get about even par after half way through the day. But nobody holed a putt. Cutler said Australia had to endure the worst of the conditions with an 11.15 am tee time. From when we hit off to by the time we finished the wind was pretty strong. In the end it was about a four and half hour round. Cutler believes Australia will take advantage of tomorrow s early tee time and the De Zalze course. I think the guys will play better on the De Zalze course. It’s a bit easier to score on. The team knows it s going to have to make a move tomorrow. We don t want to do anything stupid, but it s important we get inside the top five to keep ourselves in contention for the last two rounds. Eisenhower Trophy – First round results 139 Canada 141 Netherlands 142 France 143 Austria Malaysia USA Mexico South Africa 144 Wales Scotland 145 Japan Denmark Finland Portugal 146 Brazil Norway Korea Ireland Germany Switzerland 147 Australia