Harvey, Stone to challenge for Freddie Tait honours at SA Open

South Africa’s number one ranked amateur Brandon Stone and reigning SA Amateur Stroke Play champion Jared Harvey will battle it out for the Freddie Taite Cup honours after both made the cut on the button to sneak into this weekend’s play at the South African Open Championship at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.

After carding a forgettable 71 on Thursday, Stone combined solid iron shots and a hot putter to fire a three-under-par 69 while Harvey nearly threw it way with a bogey at the last to sign off on a 71.

The pair are tied at 56th on two-under-par 142 and long way off the pace from Scotland’s Steven O’Hara, who tops the leaderboard at 11-under-par 133.

Stone said he was much happier with his second round effort, although he hit the ball just as well in the first round.

“I was driving it just as well today as in the first round and my iron shots were as superb, but on this kind of golf course, you have to get the putter going,” said Stone.

The 18-year-old from The Els Club Copperleaf missed just four fairways in the first round and none in the second, but he needed 33 putts on each day. “I think the difference in scoring was that I managed to sink putts on some critical holes today and convert for birdies. I just hope I can keep the short stick warm for the weekend.”

Harvey couldn’t find the form that saw him open with a four-under-par 68.

“I turned in one-under with just one drop, but I really struggled in the wind coming home over the front nine,” said the 23-year-old from Mount Edgecombe. “The wind was very blustery and it made club selection very difficult. I’m just glad I managed to hang on and give myself a chance at the weekend.”

The rest of the amateurs in this week’s line up all missed the cut.

Lean Boezaart carded a 71 that left him at even par and two shots short of the cut mark, while South Africa’s number two Haydn Porteous finished on three-over after a disappointing 74. Ruan de Smidt, ranked third, signed for a 74 that pushed him to seven shots past the cut off point.

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