Early departure for hopeful amateurs at SAA Open
All six amateurs are done and dusted in the South African Airways Open at Pearl Valley Golf Estates, none of them managing to make the cut after the second round on Friday.
The cut was made at nine-over-par and local star Johan du Buisson finished within four strokes of that mark with an impressive 76 to finish as the leading amateur.
But the Kuils River man benefited hugely from a day of gross misfortune for Centurion Country Club’s Louis de Jager. The 20-year-old took the sort of body blows only characters in cartoons normally survive as he slumped to an 87 on Friday, leaving him on 17-over-par overall, four strokes behind Du Buisson.
De Jager had embarrassed Ernie Els on the first day by shooting a 74 that left him three ahead of the defending champion.
While the famous Freddie Tait Trophy was not awarded because no amateur made the cut, Du Buisson was happy with his medal for being the top of his section.
“I’m happy but I made a few silly mistakes,” he said.
Du Buisson made an 81 in the first round but was not helped by several unplayable lies in the bunkers.
After starting with an excellent level-par front nine, Du Buisson faded somewhat coming in and finished with three bogeys, a double-bogey on the 12th and a birdie at the last.
Du Buisson turned 28 on Friday and he said the celebrations would come later in the evening.
“It was quite nerve-wracking, but it was a good experience, I liked it,” he said. “There’ll be a few drinks tonight.”
De Jager’s overall performance was summed up by a telling comment from Els.
“He told me that I shouldn’t judge myself on what happened today because he said they only play in conditions like this maybe three times a year,” De Jager said. “I just enjoyed the experience and Ernie also told me not to let what happened today affect my future in the game.”
Stellenbosch’s Oliver Bekker received little respite on another blustery day at Pearl Valley and finished on 29-over-par after an 86 in the second round
Reading Country Club’s Tyrone Ferreira gave notification of his talents with a five-over-par 77 on Friday that left him on 20-over-par overall, while Ruan Botha rebounded from a 90 in the first round to shoot 78 in the second round.
Prinavin Nelson, the Umdoni Park star, was also on the right track with a 77 on Friday that saw him finish on 23-over-par.