Filippi leads, Rebula threatens at SA Boys U-17
Defending champion Jovan Rebula finished within striking distance of early pacesetter, Luca Filippi, at the Nomads SA Boys Under-17 Stroke Play Championship as first round action wrapped up at Polokwane Golf Club on Monday.
On the back of a superb performance in Aichi-Prefecture where he helped South Africa to a top 10 finish, Rebula navigated the par-72 layout in 73 strokes.
He lags four shots behind Filippi, who reeled in five birdies to set the target at three-under-par 69.
The Western Province rising star finished one stroke clear of another World Cup participant, Kieren Vincent from Zimbabwe, KwaZulu-Natal’s Luke Mayo and reigning Nomads SA Boys Under-15 champion, Herman Loubser from Boland.
Central’s Dylan Naidoo dropped a single shot on his way to a one under 71 and a share of fifth with Wian van Aswegen from Eastern Province, while the Free State trio – Steven le Roux, Attie van Wyk and Wilco Nienaber – completed their first round outing in even-par.
Nienaber timed a nine-iron from 133 meters at the par-three eighth perfectly to score a hole-in-one and dip to four under, but the Bloemfontein golfer lost his grip on the lead after a bogey, double bogey combination at the 12th and 13th holes.
Following a fifth place finish at the Nomads SA Boys U-15, Filippi tied for fifth at the first Coastal Nomads Order of Merit event at Royal Durban in January, but the 15-year-old Milnerton golfer really rose to prominence with a runner-up finish at the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play Championship at Umhlali Country Club in April.
He made it through the first round of the Match Play, but was knocked out by Loubser, who went out in the semi-final.
Filippi will definitely keep his eye on Loubser, who rose to second in the SAGA Junior Rankings in just five months since he triumphed at the Fish River Sun Country Club.
SAGA Golf Integration Manager, Eden Thompson, said the conditions were perfect for scoring, but the course is tricky.
“There are definitely low numbers out there,” Thompson said. “However, you have to hit it to the right side of the green and the right side of the hole, or the blue numbers will just pile up.”
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.