Fabulous Frade triumphs at Westlake
Nicholaus Frade from Gauteng North finally got the putter going and it paid off with a provincial breakthrough in the Western Province Amateur on Wednesday.
Organisers were forced to reduce the Stroke Play Qualifier at Westlake Golf Club to 54-holes after a lengthy suspension for inclement weather and the promising young talent stepped into the winner’s circle with a fabulous come-from-behind performance in the third round.
It was definitely a week to savour for the 20-year-old from Centurion Country Club, whose previous best performance on the Open Amateur circuit this season was a tie for 38th at the Northern Amateur Qualifier in March.
Frade outshone some of the country’s leading lights with rounds of 71, 67 and 69 to close out a two stroke victory over former number one ranked Marco Steyn from Modderfontein Golf Club. Overnight leader Matt Saulez from KwaZulu-Natal had to settle for third alongside yet with another former number one, Kyle McClatchie from Ekurhuleni.
Frade began the third round two strokes off the pace from Saulez and tied for third with reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht and fellow Southern Cape golfer Caylum Boon.
“I holed a huge putt at the first hole for birdie that set the tone for the round,” said Frade.
“The putt was at least 30 feet and it really lifted my spirits to see the ball disappear. I’ve been striking the ball so beautifully all season, but the putter has let me down in every tournament. Putting was really the difference this week, because holing putts meant I kept the big numbers off my card.”
Frade picked up his second birdie at the fifth, but dropped a shot just before the turn.
“I was about to chip to the green when the hooter sounded,” he said. “I hit a good chip when we resumed and a pretty good putt, but it lipped out and I dropped a shot. It was the only one and only my fifth bogey of the tournament, which was pretty great.
“I managed to birdie the par five (13) for birdie and we were off the forward tees at 14, so hole played significantly shorter. I pulled my tee shot slightly left, but I hit my second to three feet and holed the putt to go nine under.”
Frade was oblivious to the fact that the birdie at 14 pushed him into the lead.
“I thought I would need to get to 10 under at least to have a chance, so I was looking for another birdie,” he said. “When my birdie putt lipped out from seven feet at 16, I thought that was it. It was only after I parred 18 and walked off the green that guys started to congratulate me.”
The second year B.Com Marketing Management student was over the moon to learn that his three-day total of nine-under-par 209 rocketed him to 38th in the South African Golf Association’s Open Amateur Rankings, a jump worth more than 70 spots.
“This is the best news ever,” said the delighted champion. “I finally got the putter going and I just hope I can keep it hot in the upcoming tournaments, because now I have a realistic chance to shoot for the Premier SA Inter-Provincial team.”
Stroke Play Qualifier Result (top 20)
207 Nicholaus Frade 71 67 69
209 Marco Steyn 70 71 68
210 Matt Saulez 69 67 74; Kyle McClatchie 66 73 71
211 Samuel Simpson 74 69 68; Malcolm Mitchell 72 71 68; Christo Lamprecht 68 70 73
212 Luca Filippi 77 68 67; Christian Basson 69 73 70; Siyanda Mwandla 69 73 70
213 Elton James 72 71 70; Louis Albertse 70 70 73; Gerlou Roux 68 69 76; Caylum Boon 66 72 75
214 Pietie Loubser 71 72 71
215 Hans-Jurie Human 73 68 74
216 Elmo Barnard 75 71 70; Philip Kruse 72 73 71; Deon Germishuys 72 72 72; Andre van Heerden 72 71 73; Steven le Roux 68 75 73
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.