Nortje wins first Open Amateur Title in his back yard
From the 1st to the 3rd of April, the Southern Cape played host to yet another very successful Sanlam Cape Province Open.
A total of 134 amateurs from all across South Africa, of which most are top ranked by the South African Golf Association, entered this very prestigious tournament. The tournament was played over 3 days which started off with two pre-cut rounds played during the 1st and the 2nd of April, and was completed by playing two rounds on the 3rd of April. Kingswood Golf Estate and George Golf Club were responsible for testing the abilities and fitness of all 134 players.
Being the second highest rated tournament on the South African amateur circuit, the courses played extremely difficult with an average of only ten players being able to shoot below par on the opening two days.
Cut-off after two rounds was on 154, ten over par, with 61 players competing for the trophy. The leader and local favourite, Riekus Nortje, shot a very good seven under par, 137, over the first two days and were heading for yet another amateur tournament victory. His closest competitors were Luke Jerling, Shaun Smith and LeRiche Ehlers on 141, four under par.
The final two rounds were played on an extremely difficult, but very well prepared George Golf Course. Tee-off started at 6h45 and all players were affected by early morning jitters. After the morning round, Riekus Nortje increased his lead by a further one shot over Luke Jerling and three shots over Shaun Smith and Pedrie Oosthuizen.
Near the end of the fourth round, the only race was between Luke Jerling and Shaun Smith for a distant second place, as Riekus took an eight shot lead after an eagle on the 16th. An unfortunate triple bogey on the last hole by Luke, allowed Shaun to claim second position on his own.
Finally, the trophy was lifted by Riekus Nortje with a total of 276, twelve under par. Shaun Smith finished second with a total of 284, four under par.
The Southern Cape Golf Union would like to thank Sanlam for their unparallel assistance in hosting this wonderful tournament.