Bezuidenhout and Watson impress abroad

SA number one Christiaan Bezuidenhout completed his US Amateur preparation with a top 20 finish in the Western Amateur Championship, while KwaZulu-Natal amateur Tom Watson scored a runaway victory at the St Andrews Links Junior Golf Championship.

Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member Bezuidenhout fired rounds of 71, 69, 71 and 71 at the Beverly Country Club in Chicago to tie for 20th on two-under-par 282.

Fellow South African Zander Lombard also made the cut in the prestigious 72-hole championship.

The British Amateur finalist followed successive rounds of 71 with a 74 in the third round and closed with a 72 to tie for 41st on four over 288.

Although Bezuidenhout just missed out on the match play action in Chicago, the Ekurhuleni amateur was upbeat about his preparation and looking forward teeing it up at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Georgia with Lombard.

“It’s been a great couple of weeks here in the United States, and I’m really grateful that I had the chance to tee it up in a few top amateur events to properly prepare for the US Amateur,” he said.

“This has been an incredible experience for me, and I feel ready to challenge at the US Amateur.”

Meanwhile Watson claimed a 20-stroke victory over Scotland’s Cameron Campbell in the St Andrews Links Junior Golf Championship on the weekend.

The 18-year-old Fancourt golfer carded rounds of 76, 73, 69 and 69 at St Andrews to triumph on 287. “I’m thrilled with the win,” said Watson, who grew up in Durban, spent six years at Fancourt and moved to St Andrews 18 months ago.

“The tournament was contested over the Eden, Jubilee, the New and the famous Old Course at St Andrews. It was a windy week here, which is quite common in Scotland, but I managed to put together four pretty decent rounds to seal the win.”

On Monday, Watson fired a 74 at the Eden Course and secured a berth in top 16 field for the St Andrews Boys Open – Merchant Cup with a joint 14th finish.

The South African got past Scotsman Devin Morley with a 1-up win in the first round, but lost 3&1 to Jack Rogan from Scotland in round two.

Watson will carry the confidence of his recent performances into the 88th Boys Amateur Championship, which tees off from 12-17 August.

The first stage of the Championship will see 252 players compete over two rounds of 18 holes at Prestwick and Dundonald Links. The 64 lowest scores over the 36 holes and ties for 64th place will compete in the match play stage of the Championship.

Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes, except the Final which will be over 36 holes.

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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