Policeman locks sights on Glacier SA Amateur title

Hugo DelportDURBAN (5 March 2008) – Policeman Hugo Delport (pictured on the right), playing with his third set of golf clubs after his were stolen, has made it through to the quarter-finals of the Glacier SA Amateur Championship on another day of upsets at Royal Durban Golf Club on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old Delport, who works as a policeman in Pretoria but plays provincial golf for Ekurhuleni, beat 21-year-old Stephen Swanepoel 2 and 1 in the morning and then 22-year-old Ryan Clarke 3 and 2 in the afternoon.

Delport was one of several Ekurhuleni players who had their golf clubs and personal belongings stolen from their hotel on the Sunday before the championship, forcing him to alternate between various sets of clubs all week.

The result is that even he has been surprised by his progress.

“I’ve really had a nice run, but I’m pretty surprised to have made the quarters,” he said.

Delport will face Central Gauteng’s Michael Palmer in the quarter-finals. Palmer beat Steven Paine 2 and 1 in the afternoon, but not before Paine produced the big upset of the day.

The Western Province under-23 golfer knocked out South African number one Dylan Frittelli. Paine beat the 2007 World Junior champion 1 up in the morning after Frittelli was 3 up through 11 holes.

Paine fought back to all square playing the 17th, and Frittelli’s three-putt here ultimately cost him the match.

Jacques Blaauw“I lost it with that three-putt on 17,” said Frittelli. “I thought the putt was slow and I hit it straight through the break and about six foot past the hole. But all credit to Steven. He played the back nine really well.”

SA Stroke Play champion Jacques Blaauw (pictured on the right) will meet South African international Derik Ferreira in arguably the feature match of the quarter-finals.

Ferreira seems to be improving with every match and scored two big 5 and 4 victories over first Andre de Decker and then JG Claassen to make it through.

PG van Zyl beat North West’s Alpheus Kelapile 2 up in the afternoon for a showdown with Western Province stalwart Cameron Johnston in the quarter-finals.

And 2006 SA Amateur champion Nigel Edwards also made it through after a gruelling day in the Durban heat.

The 27th-ranked player in the world had to go to 23 holes before beating Port Elizabeth’s Divan du Piesanie in the morning. After a short break, he was back out on the course in the afternoon and won his match against Okkie Strydom 3 and 2. He will take on Ernie Els Foundation member Adrian Ford in the quarter-finals.

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