Porteous on course for KZN Amateur defence

South Africa’s top ranked amateur Haydn Porteous continued his purple patch with a three shot victory in the KwaZulu-Natal Amateur Championship – Stroke Play Qualifier at Umhlali Country Club on Thursday.

With his winning tally now at eight victories this season, including the Prince’s Grant Invitational and the SA Stroke Play Championship, the defending champion is in commanding form and the firm favourite for the Match Play, which starts on Friday.

Porteous opened with a four under 67 and took a one shot lead over Raynard Badenhorst and local favourite Christiaan van der Merwe into the final round of the 36-hole qualifier. He dropped just one shot on his way to a final round six-under-par 65 to clinch the title on 10-under-par 132.

The Modderfontein golfer finished three shots clear of the country’s number two amateur, Zander Lombard, who carded rounds of 69 and 66.

Porteous and Lombard from Gauteng North lead the 32-man field that will contest the title, but Ekurhuleni’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout is among the qualifiers and could pose a serious threat.

The 18-year-old Ernie Els Fancourt Golf Foundation member captured the elusive Western Province double earlier this month, beating Porteous for the Stroke Play title and downing Highveld Open winner NJ Arnoldi 2&1 for the Match Title at Strand Golf Club.

Other ex-KZN challengers include Callum Mowat and Eddie Taylor, who represented South Africa earlier this year at the Leopard Trophy and Africa Zone IV Championships respectively.

Van der Merwe, Greg Upneck, Martin Rohwer, Ryan Birnie, Kevin Rundle, Gregory Royston, Jonathan Ellis and experienced inter-provincial player Gavin Sole are among the local qualifiers looking to keep the trophy on home soil, while Elton James and Phumlani Mkhoma will look to join them in the Match Play when they battle for the two remaining spots in a four-man play-off on Friday morning.

Click HERE to see the Stroke Play results.

Click HERE to see the Match Play scoring and results.

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