England come from 10 back to win team title

England came from 10 shots back to win the team trophy at the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek.

The quartet of David Langley, Joe Long, Billy McKenzie and Tom Plumb pipped the defending champions and the home favourites, GolfRSA Juniors.

England finished on six-under for the three rounds of the team competition, one shot clear of their South African rivals.

Highlights of their play included five-under 67s on day two from Plumb and McKenzie, followed by 68 from Langley on the final day and Long’s 67, which pulled them over the line.

Meanwhile, the Juniors struggled on the homeward stretch with missed opportunities and a rush of bogeys.

“We knew we had a huge gap to close on the GolfRSA Juniors, but with three scores to count, anything could happen. Leopard Creek had taken a fair amount of scalps over the first two days, so we went into the final round with patience and a positive approach,” said Long.

“We are absolutely delighted with the win. It was a much tougher week than any of us anticipated. This is not one of the top courses in the world for nothing. It’s very demanding off the tee and the conditions added to the challenge.

“Bogeys, double bogeys and even triple bogeys come quickly at Leopard Creek, especially if you get too aggressive. We stayed patient, tried to keep the bogeys to a minimum, played for the best score we could put together for the team and got the job done.”

The 72-hole championship was won by Scotland’s Euan Walker on 11 under. Langley and McKenzie tied 11th, Plumb was 14th and Long was 25th.

Langley (Castle Royle, BB&O), Long (Lansdown, Gloucestershire), McKenzie (Rowlands Castle, Hampshire) and Plumb (Yeovil, Somerset) are on a month-long tour of South Africa. They play the South African Amateur next week.

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Caption (from left) David Langley, Joe Long, Billy McKenzie and Tom Plumb. Image courtesy GolfRSA