Ford leading amateur after 1st Round of SA Open

Ford tees of on the 18th tee during 1st round of SA Open Adrian Ford was the only amateur to break par in today’s first round of the European and Sunshine Tours co-sanctioned South African Open Championship which was played at Pearl Valley Golf Estates, near Paarl, today.

The 21 year old from Durbanville Golf Club played steadily to record a round of 70, two under par, six shots off the pace set by Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay. The 25 year old, who hales from Ascuncion in his home country, made the best of the benign conditions recording a 64, eight under par, one shot clear of the field. He leads a star studded field with players like Ernie Els (67), Tim Clark (67), Rory Sabbatini (66) and Lee Westwood (66) breathing down his neck.

“I hit the ball nicely, putted well and was chipping it close all day,” said a satisfied Adrian Ford on conclusion of his round this afternoon. His card supports the sturdy Western Province player’s comments showing a front nine of 36, one bogey on the 4th hole which was immediately followed by a birdie, the rest of the holes were played in regulation. The back nine included two birdies, on hole 13 and 18, both par 5s, again the rest of the holes were completed in regulation.

“A bit of the same,” is the plan tomorrow according the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member. “The immediate plan is to make cut tomorrow and after that we will see,” explained Ford. He is lying 36th tie with 22 other players which include Retief Goosen, Henrik Stenson (Sweden) and exciting young Northern Ireland professional Rory McIlroy.

Dylan FrittelliDylan Frittelli was the next best amateur. The 18 year old Irene Golf Club member recorded a one over par 73, to finish in 97th tie. “It was hard work today,” is how South Africa’s top ranked amateur, according to the SAGA Player Rankings, summed up his performance. Playing in hot but idyllic windless conditions he birdied the first hole, played regulation from there to the turn, got it to two under with a birdie at hole 1 (his 10th hole) only to drop back to par after a double bogey on hole 3 (his 12th hole). One more birdie on the 5th hole and two consecutive bogeys starting at the 7th hole meant the University of Texas golfer came back in 38, two over par.

Dean O'RileyDean O’Riley was a further shot adrift, in 109th place tied with a host of others. The slightly built Benoni Lake Golf Club member played early this morning, starting out in windy conditions only to find that by the time he turned the wind died down. He appeared to master the windy conditions best, turning in 35, one under par, but came home in 39, three over par. His round included three birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey. “

Ford stands a good chance of making a the cut tomorrow, which will be at 65th place and ties on conclusion of the second round, while Frittelli and O’Riley are in with a shout but will need go well under par in order to secure their place in the last 36 holes.

They will be playing for the Freddie Tait Trophy, which goes to the leading amateur who concludes 72 holes.

Amateurs who, barring some exceptional golf tomorrow, are unlikely to make the grade tomorrow are Cameron Johnston (76), Jake Redman (76), Derik Ferreira (78) and Mikhail Tewary (79).

The second round is played on Friday. All players making the cut will then play Saturday and Sunday.

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