O’Riley and Ford meet in Semi Finals
BENONI (5 March 2009) – It’s listed as a semi-final, but there’s no doubt that the Thursday afternoon meeting between South Africa’s top two amateurs could easily be the final of this Glacier SA Amateur Championship at Benoni Country Club.
South African number one Dean O’Riley will take on the second ranked player in the country, Western Province’s Adrian Ford, to see who progresses to Friday’s 36-hole final.
“I told him earlier in the week that I wanted him, so this is perfect,” said O’Riley, who beat Pieter Moolman 3 and 2 in their quarter-final on Thursday morning.
But the Central Gauteng golfer had to work hard for the win against Moolman. O’Riley made a fast start and was 3up through the first three holes, but Moolman fought back to all square after eight holes. O’Riley then clinched the match with a strong run of four birdies in five holes from the turn.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match,” said O’Riley. “When I was 3up through three I thought I was in for a big win, and then he started fighting back. But on the back nine I went four under through the first five holes, so I took it away from him again. But he really came back at me early on and played well.”
Ford wasn’t tested to the same extent in his 5 and 4 victory over Gauteng North’s Leon Knoll, and seems only to be getting better with every match.
“I’m pretty pleased. I played solid and hit fairways and greens, and made the odd big putt. It’s getting better and better.”
Both players are keenly aware of the significance of their semi-final.
“That’s going to be the big one,” said O’Riley. “But I owe Adrian one. He got me at the Interprovincial, so hopefully I can get him back on my home track.”
And Ford knows O’Riley has a score to settle. “Playing Dean will be nice. He said he wanted to play me, so hopefully we’ll have a good game.”
The other semi-final will see Ryan Dreyer take on Trevor Mahoney.
Dreyer beat Coenie Bester 2up. They were all square through 10, and Dreyer then won 16 and 18 with three-foot birdie putts. And it was indeed his short game which pulled him through.
“I had to up-and-down so many times on the back nine it was scary. I had only 12 putts that back nine,” he said.
Mahoney beat Johan Bekker 2 and 1 to make it through to the semi-finals.
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