When the Springboks play rugby, they also light the spark for Louis Oosthuizen and his three South African teammates in the LIV golf series.
Oosthuizen, Dean Burmester, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace usually rent a house together during a tournament and every night they grill meat and talk about the Goats.
It’s that time again in Chicago in the LIV series where Oosthuizen leads on 66 strokes (-5) along with Spain’s Sergio Garcia, Jediah Morgan, Anirban Lahiri and Sebastian Muñoz after the first of three rounds.
Burmester and Schwartzel (both -4) and Grace (-2) also performed excellently.
The South African Stinger team, which has finished third in the past three tournaments, is one stroke ahead of the Fireballs and Crushers (-12) in the team division at -13, followed by the Rippers at -11.
* In Spain, the European Solheim Cup women’s team fought back in Finca Cortesin on Friday afternoon when they won the afternoon’s foursomes 3-1 against America.
The Americans led 4-0 after the first four games on Friday morning, but the Europeans won two of the afternoon’s four games, while two were halved.
The first day ended 5-3 in America’s favor.
The highlights of the Europeans’ fight back were the holeshot scored by Emily Pedersen of Denmark on the 16th hole and the eagle scored by Ireland’s Leona Maguire on the 18th hole.
Pedersen’s spot-kick was only the second in the Solheim Cup series.
Pedersen and her playing partner Maja Stark (Sweden) were never ahead in their match against Jennifer Kupcho and Alissen Corpuz, but Stark rolled in a long putt on the 18th hole to halve the match.
The Europeans’ fightback was ushered in by Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Sweden’s Linn Grant, who won 4-2 against America’s Angel Yin and Ally Ewing.
Maguire and Georgia Hall’s (England) match against Lexi Thomson and Lilia Vu was halved on the 18th hole.
So did Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh and Madelene Sagström of Sweden’s match against Rose Zhang and Megan Khang.
* In the European series and DP World Tour’s French Open played at Le Golf National, South Africa’s Zander Lombard was very consistent. He is on 135 strokes (-7) on the trail of the leader, Jordan Smith of England.
Lombard, who scored 67 shots in the first round, followed that up with 68 shots in the second round.
Smith shot 64 in the second round and is three shots ahead of Scot Ewen Ferguson (133, -9) on 130 (-12) with Lombard, Richard Mansell (England), Roy Hisatune (Japan), Julien Bru ( France), Yannik Paul (Germany) and Nicholaas Hojgaard (Denmark) together third.
Of the other South Africans, Louis de Jager (139, -3), Bryce Easton (140) and Thriston Lawrence and Hennie du Plessis (both 141) are also firmly in the hall.
* In the local Sunshine Series’ PGA Championship held at the St. Francis Links in the Eastern Cape, Peter Karmis leads on 136 strokes (-8) by three strokes after the second round.
Karmis (Greece) is three shots ahead of South Africa’s Adam Breen and Keegan Mclachlan, who both finished on 139 shots (-5) in the clubhouse.
The veteran Jaco van Zyl (70) is fourth on 140 shots (-3), followed by Robin Williams and a host of other players.
Williams, who was the overnight leader with Mclachlan, shot 74 in the second round and is joined by Rupert Kaminski (73), Ryan van Velzen and Matthew Pacey (72) all on 141 (-2).
The tournament would have ended on Sunday with the fourth and final round, but the organizers decided to fit two rounds in on Saturday, as gale-force winds are forecast for Sunday which will make play almost impossible.