Porteous claims Proudfoot at Sanlam SA Amateur

South Africa’s top amateur golfer Haydn Porteous issued a stern warning to his contemporaries when he clinched the prestigious Proudfoot Trophy with an emphatic five stroke victory at the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship on Monday.

The overnight leader shot a four-under-par 68 at Country Club Johannesburg’s Rocklands course to win the 36-hole Stroke Play Qualifier with a winning score of 10-under-par 134.

Southern Cape’s Jovan Rebula fired a five under 67 to finish joint second with East London’s Jade Buitendag (70), former professional Gerlou Roux from the Western Province (70) and England’s Toby Tree, who returned a 72.

Some of South Africa’s most illustrious golfers have lifted the coveted trophy, including four-time Major winner Ernie Els, two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen, 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman and six-time European Tour winner, Richard Sterne.

Porteous was delighted to add his name to this illustrious list of former winners, but the 18-year-old was quick to warn that the real tournament only starts on Tuesday.

“It’s a real honour to win this trophy,” he said. “I’ve been working hard in the last few months to get my game to the next level and it started paying off at the recent Ten Nations Cup. But the hard work starts tomorrow because nothing is guaranteed in match play.

The victory follows less than two weeks after Porteous successfully defended his SA Stroke Play title at Oubaai Golf Club. The rising star also won the season-opening Prince’s Grant Invitational and posted top fives finishes in the KwaZulu-Natal Open and Gauteng North Open.

“I think I putted better in the first round but I only missed one fairway today and that will be key to the match play,” said Porteous.

The Modderfontein golfer birdied the 12th and 13th holes to turn in two-under and, after dropping his only shot of the day at the par-three fourth, knocked in three more birdies at the fifth, seventh and ninth for his 68.

The Sanlam SA Amateur is all about match play, which starts in earnest on Tuesday and ends with a 36-hole final on Friday.

Porteous said he is wary of quite a few players, including Ekurhuleni’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

“I played with Chris for two days. He shot 78 in the first round, but he hit back with a 66 in the second and if he keeps that kind of form going, he will be hard to beat.

“Jovan Rebula is just 15 but he has a great match play record and lots of experience, having played for the Southern Cape in the SA Inter-Provincial. So, too, Jade Buitendag, who played at number two for Border at the IPT.

“And then there is Toby, who is a great competitor and 12 Scots who will be looking to make it three-in-a-row. I’m going into the match play with a bit of confidence, but you can’t discount anyone. It’s back to the drawing board for all of us; we are all starting on a clean slate.”

Only the top 64 players advance to the match play stage, but the final two spots will have to be decided on Tuesday morning as darkness called for a suspension in the play-off between Louis Taylor and Johan Germishuys.

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