Round one is a Scottish day at Sanlam SA Amateur
South Africa’s top amateur Brandon Stone may have needed just 13 holes eliminate Matt Krause, but it was the visiting Scots who stole the show with a whitewash over their South African contemporaries at the Sanlam South African Amateur Championship at Vaal de Grace on Tuesday.
The Scots (Paul Shield in picture) went eight for eight in their first round matches with Ross Kellett claiming the biggest scalp when he downed South Africa’s second ranked amateur, Ruan de Smidt.
“It was a topsy-turvy match, no doubt, but I managed to get the job done at the 18th and that’s all that counts, I guess,” said the Scottish number three.
Kellett was one down after three, but turned the tables on De Smidt with three successive birdies from the fourth. He held the lead but De Smidt cu this advantange to one with a birdie at the ninth. Kellett kept his nose in front and won the 16th, but De Smidt hit back with a birdie at the 17th to force the match to the last hole.
“It was a great match and Ruan was a solid opponent,” said Kellett, who faces Burger Heckroodt in the second round. “It was a nice change of pace, too, after all the stroke play rounds the last couple of weeks.”
Scottish number one Michael Stewart beat Leon Scheepers 2 and 1, Stroke Play Qualifier runner up Kris Nicol scored an easy 4 and 2 win over Richard Crawshay-Hall and former British Boys Champion
Jordan Findlay beat 13th ranked Graham van der Merwe 3 and 2.
Meanwhile Stone, who won the Qualifier by two shots, won his match with the same apparent ease.
All square through the first five holes, the 17-year-old put the screws on Mpumalanga’s Krause to win the next four holes. The pair halved the 10th and Stone birdied 11 and 13 to win the match 6 and 5.
“I was a little less confident starting this morning than during the qualifier,” admitted Stone.
“I made five straight pars at holes that you could really birdie, but then I just started shifted gears. I hit the ball a little bit better, a little more confident. I started making some birdies to turn up the heat.”
Stone added that it was good to get that first match out of the way.
“Sometimes you get hung up on the stroke play, so it’s always good when you can win your first match with a convincing win, just to set you up for the matches to come.”
Stone will meet Stephen Pienaar in round two. The Maccauvlei player scored a 2-up win over Clive Palm of Reading Golf Club.
Fourth ranked Haydn Porteous took a longer route to defeat local favourite Desne van den Bergh at his home course.
In a closely fought battle, the pair was all square through 18 holes and it took a clutch putt for his ninth birdie for Porteous to dispatch Van den Bergh at the at the fourth play-off hole. The 16-year-old will take on Rae Mackie, who won his first round clash against Douglas Jeffery 3 and 2.
And Soweto Country Club’s Muzi Nethunzwi, who had to pre-qualify for the event and battle his way through the 36-hole qualifier, crossed yet another hurdle when he beat Pretoria’s Jacques van Tonder 2 and 1.