Filippi last man standing in Italy

Luca Filippi will be lone South African in action in the final two rounds of the eighth Italian International Under-16 Championship after a day of mixed fortunes for the South African team at Golf Club Biella in Italy.

The 15-year-old Western Province golfer added a 75 in Wednesday’s second round to an opening 78 to vault to joint 19th in the prestigious international championship.

He delivered a solid performance with two birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey at the par-four 13th to finish on seven-over-par 153 and will start the third round just six strokes behind the joint leaders, Italy’s Leonardo Novella and Edoardo Giletta.

It was heartbreak for the rest of the four-man squad and especially for Dylan Naidoo from Central Gauteng and Boland’s Herman Loubser, who narrowly missed the 36-hole cut, set at 157.

Nomads SA Boys U-17 champion Naidoo also opened with a 78, but an 80 in the second round was one shot too many, while reigning Nomads SA Boys U-15 champion Loubser missed by two after rounds of 77 and 82.

Although Luke Mayo’s struggles continued, the KwaZulu-Natal golfer can take some comfort from the fact that he managed to improve on his opening 84 by four shots in the second round.

“All four players have represented South Africa, SAGA and their families with distinction, but as a squad we came up short of our own expectations,” said South African Golf Association Golf Integration Manager, Eden Thompson.

“Luca played really well and is within striking distance of the lead, but I think his efforts speak to just how tough this golf course is.

“Dylan and Herman will both have opportunities that will haunt them and while Luke played much better, he let a few shots go and never really got things going.

“This opportunity has been a real learning experience for the guys and I trust that they will come away from this event as better players.

“The guys who missed are obviously disappointed, but we still have one player in the mix and we will all be at the course to support Luca over the next two days and encourage him to a good individual performance.”

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

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