Aussies endure mixed start to Four Nations Cup - PGA of Australia

Aussies endure mixed start to Four Nations Cup

The PGA of Australia team of Scott Laycock, TJ King, Jayden Cripps and Brad McLellan trail New Zealand by two points after a mixed day one of the Four Nations Cup at Moonah Links.

Laycock, Cripps and King were all victorious in the morning singles matches against the PGA of South Africa but went 0-2 in the afternoon fourballs to finish the day level with South Africa on three points.

The team representing the PGA of New Zealand won five of the six points on offer in their clash with the PGA of Australia International team to take a handy advantage into the second day of competition.

The International team was brought together recently for the second staging of the Four Nations Cup after the PGA of Canada advised that they would be unable to send a team.

The Canadian team was victorious in the inaugural Four Nations Cup in South Africa last year, their absence ensuring the 2023 edition will crown a new winner.

Captaining the Australian team for the first time, Laycock was left to lament an afternoon where both Aussie teams failed to capitalise on birdie opportunities as South Africa got up-and-down from every corner of Moonah Links.

“We just didn’t make enough birdies,” said Laycock, who defeated South African Duane Keun 3&2 in the morning singles.

“We didn’t combine that well and South Africa did. They made some really good saves. Calvin (Caldiera, South Africa captain) is a freak; he just kept making up-and-downs.

“I had a couple of chances late but didn’t convert them.”

Despite the two afternoon defeats, Laycock shows no signs of switching up the Aussie pairings for the crucial match-up against New Zealand on Wednesday.

“TJ and Jayden are good mates. They were always going to play together,” Laycock said, King and Cripps going down 4&3 to Greg Bentley and Cornel Muller.

“I did run it by them and they were happy to do that and I’m happy to play with Brad.

“We have slightly different games – he hits it a lot further than I do – but most people here do.

“I try and bore them with my consistency.”

The Australian representatives will take confidence from their three singles matches but will need to produce something similar on Wednesday morning to get back on level terms with the Kiwis.

“We’re trying to accumulate as many points as we can,” Laycock said of their strong start.

“Obviously South Africa are a strong team, New Zealand are a strong team and the International team will be looking to upset some people as well.”

General Manager of Melbourne Golf Park, David Tapping was the only player on the PGA of Australia International team to secure a point against New Zealand, defeating Hamish Campbell 1 up in their morning singles match.

Day 1 scores

Day 2 draw

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