De Villiers Graaff takes SA High School Champs lead

De Villiers Graaff High School grabbed pole position at the South African High School Championship with the help of a pair of eagles in the first round at East London Golf Club on Thursday.

Birdies were a rarity as a strong easterly wind raged around the par-73 layout, but Herman Loubser from Boland used the wind at two drivable par fours on the front nine to help his school into the driver’s seat.

Loubser eagled the fifth and the six holes on his way to a one-under-par 72 and fellow De Villiers Graaff Golf Academy members Tyron Davidowitz and Daniel Cronje contributed a pair of 78s to put their school in the top spot at nine over 228.

Outeniqua High School finished three shots back, while Curro Aurora edged out Rustenburg High and St. Dunstans College for third spot at 234.

Loubser blamed an untimely bogey for his back-to-back twos.

“The wind was pumping, and with all those bushes at East London, it was difficult to judge the wind and to make the right club selection at times,” he said. “I started with two bogeys at eight and nine and I had two more drops before the turn. I just got myself back to two over with birdies at one and three and then I went and three-putted the fourth.

“I was really mad at myself and I walloped a hybrid down the fifth fairway. The ball finished just short of the green and I chipped it in for two. At the next hole, I hit a three wood from the tee. The ball clipped a branch on the right and it ricochet left and rolled onto the green. It stopped 10 feet from the hole and I drained the putt for another eagle.

“It was a great way to finish the round and it’s really nice to help the team to get in front. The pressure will be on us in the final round, but we just need to come out on Friday and play for each other and I believe we can pull it through.”

Recent Dimension Data Junior Open champion Christo Lamprecht opened with a 76, while Eben Spangenberg and Pieter Zietsman added respective rounds of 77 and 78 to Outeniqua to second in the standings.

Kieron van Wyk carded a 74, SA’s number two ranked junior Woo Ju Son returned a 79 and Cole Stevens registered an 81 to help Curro Aurora to third.

Barend van Zyl anchored Rustenburg High School with a 76, while Casandra Hall led the charge for St. Dunstans College with a 77.

(Best 3 scores of 4 to count)
228 De Villiers Graaff Herman Loubser 72 Tyron Davidowitz 78 Daniel Cronje 78
231 Outeniqua Hoërskool Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 76 Eben Spangenberg 77 Pieter (Jnr) Zietsman 78
234 Curro Aurora Kieron van Wyk 74 Woo-Ju Son 79 Cole Stevens 81
235 Hoërskool Rustenburg Barend van Zyl 76 Ray Janse van Rensuburg 78 Christoffel Enslin 81
235 St. Dunstans College Casandra Hall 77 Jayden Schaper 78 Jordan Burnand 80

72 Herman Loubser
74 Kieron van Wyk; Reece Coleman
75 Wilco Nienaber; Dawid Opperman; Ian Jacobs; Tyron Taylor
76 Christo Lamprecht; Barend van Zyl
77 Crismar Engelbrecht; Tristan Naude; Casandra Hall; Eben Spangenberg
78 Simon du Plooy; Tyron Davidowitz; Ray Janse van Rensuburg; Daniel Cronje; Jayden Schaper; Hanro Kilian; Pieter Zietsman

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

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