Curlewis simply superior at SA Mid-Amateur Champs

Three-time Sunshine Tour winner Andrew Curlewis showed his class in a come-from-behind victory in the 2024 SA Mid-Amateur Championship at Silver Lakes Golf and Wildlife Estate just six weeks after regaining his amateur status; credit GolfRSA.

26 April 2024 – Just six weeks after regaining his amateur status, Andrew Curlewis pulled off a victory at Silver Lakes Golf and Wildlife Estate in the South African Mid-Amateur Championship.

Curlewis, who plays out of Silver Lakes and is a three-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, had to pull off a come-from-behind effort in the final round after he teed off nine strokes behind the 36-hole leader, Corrie Steenkamp of Waterkloof Golf Club.

After rounds of level-par 72 and one-under-par 71, Curlewis pulled a rabbit out of the hat to prove his pedigree from his 20-year professional career. And that’s precisely what he did with a stunning bogey-free effort of six-under-par 66, which included an eagle and four birdies.

“It feels amazing,” said Curlewis. “I got my amateur status back six weeks ago and I managed to get a last-minute entry into this event at my home club here at Silver Lakes, and I managed to play nicely enough to pull off a win.”

His seven-under-par total for the 54 holes was one clear of Ruan Roets of Centurion Country Club, who closed with a three-under-par 69 to take the runner-up spot.

Steenkamp slipped to a closing five-over-par 77 to end up in a share of third on three-under for the tournament with Francois Coetzee of Woodhill Country Club. Nicolaas Weber of Magaliespark Country Club was fifth after his closing level-par 72 left him at one-under, and Gareth Clements, Clive Palm, Gerlou Roux, Danie Viljoen and Logan Lofstedt shared sixth at level-par to make up the top 10.

Curlewis, who last visited the winner’s circle when he picked up two titles on the Sunshine Tour in 2013, said it had taken a while to slip back into the routine of tournament play. “In round one, it was pretty mundane,” he said. “I played nicely. There were a few bad shots and missed putts, but we’ll take that in conditions that weren’t the easiest.

“The course played a little tougher in the second round, but anything in the red after two rounds, I felt had a chance coming into the final day,” he added.

He made his intentions clear with an early birdie on the second, and when he eagled the par-five seventh, the chase was well and truly on. Three birdies without a drop on the homeward nine – on the 10th, the 12th and the 15th – saw him home and dry.

“I felt it was the right move for me to return to the amateur circuit, and I have to say, I was very surprised at just how competitive the mid-amateur circuit is. Great to see a lot of after former pros back in the amateur ranks, too. I really enjoyed the experience, and the vibe is fantastic. Right move, right time.”