Jarvis mounts case for title defence at Gowrie Farm

Casey Jarvis from Ekurhuleni carded a flawless two-under-par 70 to get his title defence in the Gowrie SA U-15 Challenge underway on Monday.

The 13-year-old State Mines golfer followed a birdie start with a run of eight straight pars and interrupted another run of pars on the back nine at Gowrie Farm Golf Estate with a second birdie at the par-5 13th for a one shot lead.

South African Golf Development Board player Carl Mwale from Central Gauteng and Nash de Klerk from Ekurhuleni are hot on his heels alongside Southern Cape’s Jordan Duminy, who lost the title fight in a play-off to Jarvis last year.

Kayle Wykes clocked in with an even-par 72, while fellow Central Gauteng player Emerson Bam overcame a double bogey start to work his way into a tie for sixth at one over with Amilkar Bhana, also from Central Gauteng.

After a three-putt bogey at the 18th cost him the outright victory, Jarvis took a more cautious approach at the first extra hole to set up the victory in last year’s event. Tournament director David Younge said that same cautiousness helped Jarvis to secure the lead in round one.

“Casey is an excellent ball striker, but he is playing with new shafts in his irons and that is impacting on his trajectory,” said the GolfRSA Assistant Manager – Golf Operations.

“He recently switched from graphite to steel shafts and he is still battling to come to grips with the change in yardage and his shape on the shots. So he played percentage golf and hit 15 or 16 greens in regulation. His putter was ice-cold, but he was very happy with that result.

“The course is in pristine condition and the greens are a little soft. The players could pepper the pins, but they still struggled on the putting surfaces. The greens are smooth and true, but they are running at about 10 on the stimp metre. That is a bit faster than what these little juniors are used to.

“Emerson actually did really well to fight his way to sixth after the double bogey start. He hit a great drive, but the ball must have bounced badly and he ended up with a lost ball. He dropped three more shots on the front nine, but rallied with five birdies down the back to finish at one over.

“It’s interesting to note that leaderboard is in line with the top 10 of the South African Golf Association U-15 Junior Rankings, with Casey leading, Jordan in second with Carl and Nash and Emerson also in there. It’s pretty tight at the top compared to last year when the first round leader led by three shots from the chasing pack.”

First Round Leaderboard – TOP 10
69 Casey Jarvis 69
70 Carl Mwale 70; Nash de Klerk 70; Jordan Duminy 70
71 Kayle Wykes 71
72 Emerson Bam 72; Amilkar Bhana 72
73 Christiaan Maas 73
74 Damian Osner 74
75 Zander Lombard 75

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.

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