Mwale motors to Gowrie SA U-15 lead
Eagle Canyon junior Carl Mwale eclipsed the field and charged to the top of the pile with a birdie-birdie finish in the second round of the Gowrie SA U-15 Challenge on Tuesday.
The 14-year-old from the South African Golf Development Board posted an even-par 71 at Gowrie Farm Golf Estate to lead by one stroke from fellow Central Gauteng junior Amilkar Bhana.
Bhana from Country Club Johannesburg also played the closing holes in two under for a one under 70 that earned him the low round of the day honour.
Jordon Duminy from Southern Cape lost in a play-off last year, but the Louis Oosthuizen Junior Academy member put himself in serious contention with a 73. The Pinnacle Point golfer is just two off the pace after fighting back from four over with a trio of birdies on the back nine.
Defending champion Casey Jarvis will have Gauteng North rising star Christiaan Maas for company in the final round after the pair tied for fourth at two over.
Jarvis led by one over Mwale, Duminy and Nash de Klerk from Ekurhuleni after opening with a 69, but he battled in the blustery conditions on the front nine and turned two under. He birdied 11 but gave the shot back at 16 and a double-bogey finish left him three off the pace. Maas was level for the day through 13 holes, but finished with a 71 after a double bogey at 14 and four pars to finish.
Mwale could very well be the man to beat on Wednesday.
The Central Gauteng golfer showed a glimpse of his emerging form with a fifth place finish in the Boys 13-14 Category at the 8th Albatross International Golf Championship in India last year and in January, he continued his rise in the rankings with a joint eighth place finish in the Nomads SA Boys U-15 Championship.
Mwale opened with a promising 71, but also struggled in the testy conditions at the start of the second round. He bogeyed three, six and 10 but made a remarkable good fist of it down the back nine to wipe out the deficit with birdies at 13 and 14. He gave another shot back at 15, but deftly sunk birdie putts at 17 and 18 to finish in front.
“We had a very cold, windy and overcast start this morning and the juniors battled to get going,” said GolfRSA Assistant Manager – Golf Operations David Younge.
“The early starters got the worst of it, but conditions were still pretty testy when the leaders started. The scores were markedly higher on the front nine, but when the conditions improved on the back nine, the putts also started to drop.
“Carl and Casey were both two over and Jordan was four over after nine, but Carl played really solid on the back nine to shoot level. Amilkar had the best start with just a lone bogey at five and he turned it on coming home with birdies at 12, 17 and 18 to move into second on his own. It’s a pretty tight leaderboard and the title race is still wide open, so we should have another exciting finish this year.”
SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD (top 10)
141 Carl Mwale 70 71
142 Amilkar Bhana 72 70
143 Jordan Duminy 70 73
144 Christiaan Maas 73 71; Casey Jarvis 69 75
145 Emerson Bam 72 73
148 Kayle Wykes 71 77; Nash de Klerk 70 78
150 Joshua Koekemoer 77 73; Zander Lombard 75 75; Damian Osner 74 76
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.