Pack closes in on Potgieter at Leopard Creek

GolfRSA National Squad member Fabrizio de Abreu will start moving day in the 2023 African Amateur Stroke Play Championship one off the pace at Leopard Creek Country Club; credit GolfRSA.

LEOPARD CREEK, 7 February 2023 – Aldrich Potgieter maintained pole position at the halfway mark of the African Amateur Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club, but the reigning British Amateur champion’s lead is a slim one.

Following a second round of 69 that featured six birdies, one bogey and a double bogey at the tricky par three seventh hole, Potgieter tops the leaderboard at eight under par going into moving day.

Fellow GolfRSA National squad member Fabrizio de Abreu breathing down his neck one shot back and Scotland’s Gregor Graham and Bryanston’s Pascal Gunther area further two shots behind.

Dylan Kayne rounds out the top five after a 65 on day two propelled the GolfRSA National Squad member to four-under.

“It was a pretty solid round today,” Potgieter said. “I made a few mistakes, and Leopard Creek will punish you for that, but the birdies are out there.”

The Southern Cape golfer will fond memories of his third round of the tournament last year. He fired no fewer than 11 birdies in a round of 65 that really announced his arrival in South Africa following his family’s relocation from Western Australia.

Armed with immense power and an aggressive game plan, Potgieter vowed back then not to change his flag-hunting style, but a year later he has adopted a more mature approach as he looks to add one of South Africa’s most prestigious amateur titles to his impressive resume.

“It was important to put the team event first and try to stretch out lead to a comfortable one over the first two rounds. Today we’ll want to make sure we secure the win for South Africa,” he said. “I’m going to focus on keeping the ball in play. If I do that, the birdies will come and hopefully it will be another low one.”

The 54-hole team event sees the South African team of Potgieter, Kyle de Beer, Jono Broomhead and Daniel Bennett holding a comfortable 12-stroke advantage over their Scottish counterparts, but with three scores out of four to count, the lead is certainly not insurmountable.

Meanwhile 16-year-old De Abreu got off to a wobbly start in the pursuit of what would be the biggest title in the Junior Protea’s career.

A double on the par-four 11th and a bogey on the par-three 12th saw him slip to three over after three holes, but he regathered himself brilliantly for a round of 69 to sit one shot back of the lead.

“I just told myself to stay patient and trust things to come right,” he explained. “After that I ended up making made six birdies and it turned out to be a great round in the end.

“You’ve got to stay patient at this course. Sometimes you need to aim for the middle of the green and you need to manage your misses, otherwise you could record some big numbers here.”