Russell leads in a windswept first round

Aaron Russell, first round leaderAaron Russell played in the worst of this afternoon’s south easter to emerge with a 70, two under par, and a one stroke lead after the first round of the 72 hole South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship, being played at the Pearl Valley Golf Estates outside Paarl in the Boland.

“I hit the ball well and kept my cool,” said the 23 year old Western Province provincial golfer of the main reasons for his fine performance in difficult conditions.

This morning’s round leader in the clubhouse, 17 year old Yubin Jung, recorded a 71, one under par. He was joined, also one shot off the lead, by another Western Province golfer, 23 year Le Riche Ehlers.

Two exciting young prospects in 17 year old JG Claassen and 19 year old Derik Ferreira were a further shot adrift. The former plays his golf at Orkney Golf Club in the North West Province while the latter, who is ranked 2nd on the South African Golf Association’s Player Rankings, plays his golf out of Centurion Country Club, Gauteng North.

An elated Russell was circumspect about his performance. “Although Western Province players play a lot in the wind one still has to grind out a score for each round,” he said.

In September Russell, along with two of his Western Province team mates, was the most valuable player, on performance, at the South African Inter Provincial, played at Hermanus Golf Club. He will want to build on that by putting on a good showing at Pearl Valley this week.

Le Riche Ehlers, one shot off the paceTwo players were a further shot adrift, on 73, one over par. They are Michael Palmer, of Bryanston Country Club in Central Gauteng, and Robbie Oosthuizen, of Strand Golf Club in Somerset West (Western Province).

Adrian Ford and Frenchmen David Antonelli recorded scores of 77 and 76 respectively.

Other players who were considered ‘players to watch’ were runner up in this championship last year Leon Knoll (74), Jake Redman (74) and Nicol van Wyk (77). None of these players are out the running if the forecasted wind for tomorrow should prevail.

The second round will be played tomorrow. On conclusion of this round there will be a cut to 65 place and ties. All players making the cut will contest the final two rounds being played on Thursday and Friday respectively.

South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship
First Round Scores (Par 72)
(All South African unless stated otherwise)

70 – Aaron Russell
71 – Le Riche Ehlers, Yubin Jung
72 – Derik Ferreira, JG Claassen
73 – Robbie Oosthuizen, Michael Palmer
74 – Jake Redman, Leon Knoll
75 – Steven Ferreira, Wehmeyer Ferreira, Christiaan van der Merwe, Riekus Nortje, Bryn Flanagan
76 – Norman Raad, Coenie Stoop, Dean Burmester, Alexandre Kaleka (FRA), Desne van der Bergh, Mark Fensham, David Antonelli (FRA)
77 – Daniel Greene, Adrian Ford, Nicol van Wyk, Ivan Williams
78 – Kyle Lucas, Karl Ochse, Ryan Dreyer, Erik van Rooyen, Hendrik van den Berg, JJ Senekal, Johan Bekker, Christo Roos, Ryan Strauss, Coenie Bester
79 – Hugo Delport, Jacques van Tonder, Drikus van der Walt, Gregg Upton, Justin Turner, Mark Lipman, Ruan de Smidt, David Mcminn
80 – Ruan Bornman, Ryan Clarke, TJ Bekker, Steve Swanepoel, Ryan Ciapparelli
81 – EJ Viljoen, Divan du Piesanie, Daniel Barrett, Andre van Zyl, Dawie van Wyk, Pieter Rademan, Jared Harvey
82 – Heinrich Erasmus, Trevor Muggeridge, Chris Erasmus, Steven Williams
83 – David Gerhardi, Pieter Moolman, Andre de Decker, Stephen Holder, Ramon Rahme, Ruan Oberholster, Kenny Goosen, Daniel Hammond, Pedrie Oosthuizen, Rowan du Preez
84 – Jayce Aldrich, Dimitri Razos, Christiaan Jonck, Kyle Stevens, Dean O’Riley, Hannes Muller,Tyrone Ryan
85 – Frikkie Cronje, JB Dill, Reghard Neethling, Chris Hurter, Werner Theart, Theo Kitshoff, Thomas Lovett, Trevor Mahoney, Herman Minnie, Mikhail Tewary, Rae Mackie, Darren van Zyl
86 – Stafie Barnard, Wesley Baptiste, Taymen Erasmus
87 – Donovan Pearse, Cobus Oosthuizen
88 – Nicholas Mitchell
89 – Stef Visage
90 – Joshua Seale
91 – Stefan Rall
92 – Mark Swanepoel, Victor Doka

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