Quality field for Glacier SA Amateur

Eighteen of the top 20 players on the latest South African Golf Association (SAGA) Players’ Ranking along with more than 20 international entries, from nine countries, provides for a quality field for the 2009 Glacier SA Amateur.

Popularly regarded as the top amateur championship in the country, the Glacier SA Amateur is being played from 1 to 6 March 2009 at Benoni Country Club.

A full field of 144 players will play a 36 hole Qualifying Round, over the first two days, 18 holes each day. The leading 64 players on conclusion of competition will qualify for the match play. The winner of the match play, all rounds being 18 holes except the final which is 36, will be crowned the 2009 Glacier SA Amateur.

A strong contingent from France, eight players in all, will mount the biggest challenge to South Africa’s top amateur golfers. In addition, two Canadians, Mathieu Rivard and Lindsay Reynolds are amongst the top ranked players in their country, are likely to be in the mix.

Adrian FordFrom a national player perspective, four South Africans appear to be in form and have confirmed their entry. They are Durbanville golf club member Adrian Ford (Western Province), Fancourt’s Jake Redman (Southern Cape), Steven Ferreira (Central Gauteng) from Reading Country Club and Leon Knoll (Gauteng North) from Silver Lakes Country Club.

Ford was the only amateur to make the cut in the South African Open Championship played at Pearl Valley in the Boland last month. He will be wanting to put his hand up and claim the number one spot in the SAGA Player Ranking this year, this championship title is one of the most sort after amongst our top players, he will be eager to get his hands on the trophy.

Jake RedmanJake Redman, 21 year old Fancourt member, won the Kwazul-Natal Open earning enough points to move him up to 3rd place in the latest SAGA Player Rankings. He will be looking to fill the void left in amateur golf when more than 17 players turned professional at the end of last year. If he continues his current vein of form, he will more than likely be in the running for selection to the national team.

Steven FerreiraSteven Ferreira, 19 year old brother of professional Tyrone, who plays his golf out of Reading Country Club, has recorded three second place finishes in the last three months. He lost in a playoff to PG van Zyl in the International Teams competition played at Maccauvlei Country Club last year. Then he finished second at Princes Grant and a week later in the Kwazulu-Natal Open, both events taking place this month.

Leon Knoll, the talented 19 year old, won the Princes Grant tournament two weeks back starting his year off with the promise he showed at the beginning of the 2008 season. He will be looking to sustain his form, which he will be required to do if he is to knock on the door of the national selectors.

Combined with the 36 hole Qualifying is an International Teams competition. Ten countries will compete, including the host nation. Each team is made up of two players. The lowest combined aggregate score will determine the winning national team.

The Glacier SA Amateur winner earns certain privileges, some of which are exemption into the British Amateur, this year, and to tee up with the defending champion in the South African Open Championship for the first two rounds.

In all 386 entries were received. Of these 105 are exempt from having to Qualify.

All non exempt players have committed to playing in one of the qualifying rounds, of which there are seven. In all 281 players will be playing for 39 spots. The spots have been divided amongst the qualifying rounds proportionately. The following is a list of qualifying rounds (with the number of spots available listed in brackets):
1 Feb: George G.C. – with only three players nominating to play here, the SAGA has decided to cancel this round. All entrants are now required to play at Humewood Golf Club in Port Elizabeth.
1 Feb: Schoeman Park G.C., Bloemfontein: (3)
1 Feb: Mt Edgecombe C.C. Course 1, Durban: (4)
2 Feb: King David G.C., Cape Town: (7)
3 Feb: Glenvista C.C., Johannesburg: (10)
3 Feb: Benoni Lake G.C., Benoni: (7)
3 Feb: Irene C.C., Pretoria: (7)
7 Feb: Humewood G.C., Port Elizabeth: (1)

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