Loubser leads by one at St Francis Links
Boland golfer Herman Loubser braved the cold and blustery conditions in St Francis Bay to pilot to an opening even-par 72 and a slender one stroke lead in the Nomads Coastal National of Order event at St Francis Links on Sunday.
Tristan Hamilton from Western Province took sole second, while Matt Saulez from KwaZulu-Natal and Martin Vorster from the Louis Oosthuizen Academy in Southern Cape share third on two over 74.
Province’s Cole Cruickshank and Hilmi Mallick finished a further stroke adrift alongside Ruben Coetzer from KwaZulu-Natal and Central Gauteng’s Marco Steyn.
Fresh from assisting the South African team to an eighth place finish in the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan, Loubser made a fast start with a birdie at the second and reached the turn in four-under after a hat-trick of gains at six, seven and eight.
However, the three-club wind barred its teeth on the back nine of the challenging championship layout designed by 18-time Major champion Jack Nicklaus and Loubser immediately surrendered his advantage with three bogeys in a row.
The De Villiers Graaf student stemmed the bleeding with par at 13 and sandwiched a birdie at the par-four 14th between two more drops before parring his way home.
Hamilton bogeyed his opening hole and dropped more shots at 12, 13 and 15, but the Durbanville junior minimized the damage with a string of three birdies before the turn.
He parred the first five holes on the front nine, but slotted another bogey at the par-three seven between birdies at seven and nine.
Steyn, who also travelled to Japan, produced one of six eagles on the day.
The Modderfontein golfer holed out for three at the sixth after a bogey at five, but spoiled his hard work by four successive bogeys. He added two birdies on the back nine, but finished with a double bogey for 75.
Christo Lamprecht from Southern Cape, Ekurhuleni’s Vaughn van Deventer and Eric Wowor from Central Gauteng also recorded eagles at the par-five sixth, while David Ross from Ekurhuleni and Boland golfer Dandre Spies notched their threes at the par-five 16th.
ROUND ONE SCORES – TOP 20
72 Herman Loubser
73 Tristan Hamilton
74 Matt Saulez; Martin Vorster
75 Cole Cruickshank; Ruben Coetzer; Marco Steyn; Hilmi Mallick
76 Noel Anderson; Dylan Naidoo; Alex van Wyk; Kyle De Beer
77 Wian van Aswegen; Ruan Pretorius; Bryce Leach; Wilco Nienaber; Dylan Mostert
78 Jacques Smith; Alastair Madgwick; Dehan Joubert; Vaughn van Deventer
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.