History beckons for defending champion at Sanlam SA Amateur Championship
Thriston Lawrence will get a shot at history on Friday, when he aims to become the first player since 1978 to claim consecutive Sanlam SA Amateur Championship titles.
The defending champion will take on Bellville Golf Club’s Altin van der Merwe in Friday’s 36-hole final at Hermanus Golf Club with the aim of emulating Teddy Webber, who was the last to achieve two consecutive wins 36 years ago.
Lawrence won’t be focusing on historical records on Friday morning, however.
“That would be great, it’s a big opportunity to be the one to do it, but I’m not going to think about that tomorrow during the round,” he said after his semifinal win. “I’m just going to play against the course and take it shot for shot.”
The Nelspruit golfer admitted Thursday’s match against Du Preez had been a fierce battle.
“Today was really a tough day. There weren’t many holes that we halved. We made a lot of birdies so it’s a real privilege to be in the final and hopefully to defend the title,” he said.
As for his opponent in the final, the 17-year-old added: “Altin is a good player. He’s from here so he plays well in the wind so it’s not going to be an easy game. We’re going to have to play well to beat each other.”
Van der Merwe, meanwhile is relishing the chance to tackle his first final.
“It’s very exciting. That was my one dream – to get to the final. Obviously to win it is another,” he said.
“I never thought I could do it but as I worked towards it, I pulled through and I managed to do it.”
Speaking about Friday’s final, he added: “I will have a lot of motivation playing against Thriston because he’s my age too. He obviously has a bit more experience than me because he has won it but I’ll definitely try my best, I won’t give him anything. I’ll play the best golf possible and you never know.”
Earlier in the day, in the morning quarterfinal Van der Merwe had defeated his Bellville clubmate, Gerlou Roux on the 19th while Lawrence got the better of Scotland’s Scott Gibson on the 20th.
Lawrence defeated Pretoria Country Club’s James du Preez 1-up to book his spot in the final, while Van der Merwe defeated Modderfontein’s Marco Steyn 3 and 1, in Thursday afternoon’s semifinal, to progress.
Results – Quarter-Finals
Hermanus Golf Club 27 February 2014
Gerlou Roux lost to Altin van der Merwe 19th hole;
Marco Steyn(MH) beat Louis Taylor 21st Hole;
Thriston Lawrence beat Scott Gibson (SCO) 20th Hole;
Daniel Young (SCO) lost to James du Preez 3 & 2;
(Players are South African unless stated otherwise)
Results – Semi-Finals
Altin van der Merwe beat Marco Steyn 3 & 1;
Thriston Lawrence beat James du Preez 1Up;
Issued on behalf of the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship by Michael Vlismas Media.