Gounden leads tight race at Bryanston

Aneurin Gounden tops a jam-packed leaderboard in the first round of the Nomads National Order of Merit at Bryanston Country Club on Monday.

Just three weeks after Matt Saulez lifted the Nomads National Order of Merit Coastal title at St Francis Links, Gounden has a chance to emulate his 2014 SA Under-19 Inter-Provincial team-mate and claim his first national title.

The risk and reward layout takes as much as it gives, but Gounden took his chances on the firm and undulating greens. The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation player compensated for four bogeys with birdies the first, fifth, ninth, 12th and 15th and signed for a one-under-par 71.

The Mount Edgecombe junior leads by one from Eagle Canyon’s Bryce Leach, who erased a double bogey at the par-three fourth and bogeys at eight and 15 with four birdies.

Recent Dimension Data Junior Open champion Marco Steyn and fellow Central Gauteng junior Kyle Barker share third on one over 73 with Gauteng North pair Werner Deyzel and Cliffie Thompson.

Modderfontein’s Steyn mixed four bogeys with three birdies, while Barker from Randpark eagled the par-five 17th on his way to 73.

Thompson from Pebble Rock recovered swiftly from a double bogey start and wiped the two stroke deficit with an eagle three at the second. The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation player dropped shots at 10, 15 and 16, but knocked in another putt for eagle at 17 to finish at one over.

Deyzel showed no lasting effects of his narrow loss to Herman Loubser in the Nomads SA Boys Under-17 Championship on Friday.

He made a great start with an eagle at the par-five first and birdie at the second, but was among the late starters who were battered by a very strong wind in the afternoon.

Deyzel dropped five shots in six holes after the turn, but the Woodhill junior managed to birdie the 13th to finish within striking distance of the lead.

71 Anuerin Gounden
72 Bryce Leach
73 Kyle Barker; Marco Steyn; Clifford Thompson; Werner Deyzel
74 Therion Nel; Keegan Mclachlan; Chris Woollam
75 Kyle Klopper; Tristan Brice; Ruan Pretorius
76 Dylan Mostert; Attie van Wyk; Alex van Wyk; Etienne J van Rensburg
77 Ge-Rico Muller; Sentanio Minnie; Otto van Buynder; Kyle Opperman; Caylum Boon; Ben van Wyk; Gregory Mckay; Chandler Shaw; Lourens J van Vuuren; Brandon Gildenhuys; Haydn Driver

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

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