Claassen qualifies for match play in French Amateur

JG Claassen, the only South African, of the eight participating, who managed to qualifyi for the match play in the French AmateurJG Claassen recorded a fighting 70, two under par, in Friday’s second and final round of the 36 hole Qualifying competition for the 2010 French Men’s Amateur International Championship taking place at the Saint Germain Golf Club near Paris.

The Orkney Golf Club member recorded a 36 hole aggregate of 145, one over par, finishing tied in twenty third place. With the top 32 players, on conclusion of the Qualifying competition, going through to the match play stage, the nineteen year old ended up as the only South African to qualify, of the eight participating.

Joshua White of England won the Qualifying competition handsomely recording a final score of 134, ten under par and four shots clear of the field. White recorded the best final round score of the day, a 65, seven under par.

Speaking after his round in a telephonic interview Claassen said that although he was happy to have qualified, he was nonetheless disappointed. “I really should have had a 67 today. I was hitting the ball really well but my putter was cold.”

Tyrone Ryan, the leading South African after the first round, dropped down the leader board after a 77, giving him a score of 148, four over par. This 36 hole score was matched by Johan Bekker (74).

Both Ryan Dreyer (75) and Danie van Tonder (79) finished on 151.

One shot further back was South Africa’s number one ranked amateur, according to the latest South African Golf Association Player Rankings, Dean O’Riley (76) and Aaron Russell (79).

Jared Harvey, of Kwazulu Natal, came back nicely with a level par 72 for his final round after his disastrous opening round. He finished well off the pace on 153.

The Nations Cup was won by England. With Joshua White in dominant form and his two team mates playing regulation golf, a final round score of 137, seven under par, ensured that they finished two shots clear of the host nation. The winning score was 276, twelve under par.

In this competition, each national team, of which there were seven, comprised three players; the best two scores in each round counting.

South Africa finished well down, their one team on 296, eight over par, and their second on 299 in fifth and sixth place overall respectively.

“We will all turn out to support JG Claassen tomorrow,” said Colin Burger, the South African Golf Association’s Vice President and Team Manager on conclusion of the final round. “We have a test match against France next week, so the boys will also have an opportunity to practice here at the range.”

Speaking with an eye on the Test Match, Burger said that he hoped that having played in this competition his team would have had time to acclimatise. “It is not easy playing away from home especially here in France and Europe particularly where the standards are so high,” commented Burger.

All players in the match play stage play the first and second rounds on Saturday. The quarter and semi finals take place on Sunday with the final, over 36 holes, on Monday.

36 hole Qualifying Competition

Leaders after the final round

St Germain G.C. (Par 72; For 36 holes: 144)

(All players are French unless stated otherwise)

134 – Joshua White (ENG) (69,65)

138 – Lionel Weber (70,68)

139 – Julien Brun (68,71), Clement Berardo (67,72)

140 – Andrew Wallace (SCO) (71,69), Francois-Romain Rouilleaux (69,71)

141 – Sebastien Gros (73,68), Linard Thomas (69,72)

142 – Jules Bordonado (71,71), Jonathan Bell (ENG) (70,72), Kevin Turlan (68,74), Leo Lespinasse (68,74)

143 – Pierre Tillement (69,74), Gary Stal (68,75)

144 – Alexis Anghert (77,67), Stanislas Gautier (75,69), Fraser Moore (SCO) (74,70), Benjamin Forges (73,71), David Booth (SCO) (71,73), Edouard Espana (71,73), Alexandre Widemann (71,73), Emmanuel Mercadier (70,74)

South African players’ scores:

145 – JG Claassen (75,70)

148 – Johan Bekker (74,74), Tyrone Ryan (71,77)

151 – Ryan Dreyer (76,75), Danie van Tonder (72,79)

152 – Dean O’Riley (76,76), Aaron Russell (73,79)

153 – Jared Harvey (81,72)

Nations Cup

(Par 136; For 36 holes: 288)

(Best two scores count in teams of three players)

276 – England (Jonathan Bell (70,72), Joshua White (69,65), Craig Hinton (73,72))

278 – France 1 (Sebastien Gros (73,68), Gary Stal (68,75), Leo Lespinasse 68,74))

284 – Scotland (Bobby Rushford (76,78), David Booth (71,73), Andrew Wallace (71,69))

287 – France 2 (Kenny Subregis (75,77), Pierre Tillement (69,74), Stanislas Gautier (75,69))

296 – South Africa 1 (JG Claassen (75,70), Dean O’Riley (76,76), Ryan Dreyer (76,75))

299 – South Africa 2 (Tyrone Ryan (71,77), Danie van Tonder (72,79), Aaron Russell (73,79))

310 – Finland (Teemy Putkonen (81,77), Ossi Mikkola (85,79), Henri Pyykola (75,77))

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