Bruyns sets SA pace at Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup

South Africa’s Drikus Bruyns fired an opening two-under-par 69 to finish just two off the pace in the Individual Competition and helped South Africa to a top five position in the Team Competition in the 17th Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup in Argentina.

The Boland amateur completed his first round at the Los Lagartos Country Club near Buenos Aires in loops of 35 and 34 to finish two shots off the pace from joint first round leaders, Joshua Munn from New Zealand and Uruguay’s Jean Alvarez.

The country’s fourth ranked amateur delivered a consistent performance, converting for four birdies on his way to a share of fourth with Reeve Whitson of Ireland.

However, team mate CJ du Plessis will have to make up some ground if the South African pair hopes to realize their goal of becoming the country’s third winning team in the International Team Competition at the prestigious Argentinean tournament.

Ulrich van den Berg and former Masters champion, Trevor Immelman, won in 1997 and were succeeded by Ryan Dreyer and JG Claassen in 2008.

The Limpopo amateur opened his campaign with a four-over-par 75, setting the tone for his round with a double bogey at the par-four first. Although Du Plessis birdied the next hole, he surrendered six more shots offset by four birdies to finish in a tie for 43rd.

While 107 amateurs teed it up in the main tournament, 15 countries are doing battle in the team competition, which runs concurrently with individual competition for the Tailhade Cup.

Whitson and Richard O’Donovan hit the front for Ireland with a combined score of 139. They lead by one from New Zealand and Uruguay and are three shots ahead of Columbia in third.

South Africa shares fifth with Peru on 144, one shot ahead of hosts Argentina.

Following the Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup, Bruyns and Du Plessis will also tee it up in the 117th Argentina Amateur Championship at the Pilar Golf Club from 13-18 November.

The world ranking tournament comprises a 36-hole qualifier over two days, where after the leading sixty four players will go through to the match play stages to determine the amateur champion for 2012.

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