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The South African team drifted outside the top 25 in the Espirito Santo Trophy at the World Amateur Team Championships in Japan on a tough scoring day at the Karuizawa 72 East Golf Club on Friday.

The team dropped to joint 28th with Puerto Rico at six-over-par 438 after a third round 152. Monja Richards carded a 75 and Michaela Fletcher battled to a 77, while Cara Gorlei posted a non-counting 78 at a sopping wet Oshitate Course.

National coach Val Holland said the team remain in high spirits despite a disappointing performance.

“It was just one of those days that, no matter what anyone tried, things just did not go our way,” Holland said.

“The players really fought to the bitter end. When we turned, Cara and Monja were level par and Michaela three over. Everyone was primed to launch a birdie run on the back nine, but then the heavens opened.

“All their games took a turn for the worst with a couple of bogeys and no birdies to get us back up the leaderboard. I have to commend our trio, though, for their perseverance and fighting spirit.

“However disappointed we are with the day’s result, the girls are still highly motivated and ready to out fighting tomorrow and bring home three low rounds.”

The relentless downpour resulted in a delayed start for the leading teams, but the Canadian team seem to take the rain in their stride.

Brooke Henderson carded a 66 and Brittany Marchand returned a 69 for third round 135 to march to a two shot lead over the Republic of Korea on 23 under par.

World number one, Minjee Lee, also seemed unaffected by the wet conditions as the scorched the course in an eight-under-par 64 to help Australia to fourth on 16 under.

The Aussies lag one shot behind host nation Japan on 415.

TOP 10 LEADERBOARD – ROUND THREE

409 (-23) Canada 135 139 135

411 (-21) Republic of Korea 137 140 134

415 (-17) Japan 144 132 139

416 (-16) Australia 144 138 134

417 (-15) Spain 142 136 139

418 (-14) United States of America 142 140 136; Denmark 143 139 136

419 (-13) Germany 143 136 140; Sweden 143 135 141

420 (-12) England 147 134 139; Mexico 142 139 139

438 (+6) South Africa 142 144 152; Puerto Rico 147 146 145

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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