SA pair crash out in Argentina

Gauteng North’s Jason Smith and NJ Arnoldi from Ekurhuleni were both eliminated in the 119th Argentine Amateur this weekend.

The South African pair both finished in the top 16 in the 36-hole Stroke Play qualifier at the Highlands Park Country Club near Pilar on Thursday to qualify for the match play competition.

They both crossed the first hurdle to reach the top 32, but Arnoldi was sent packing in the second round of the world’s six oldest amateur championship in Argentina on Saturday. The Nigel golfer defeated local player Federico Magarinos 2-up, but lost 3&2 to Ireland’s Richard Bridges.

Smith claimed a solid 3&1 victory against local player Mauro Julien Baez in round one and handed Pino Colletta from Australia an impressive 5&3 hiding in the second round to reach the top 16.

However, the reigning SA Stroke Play champion met his match against Canadian Corey Connors in round two.

Connors, who won the Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup with team mate Austin Connelly last week, won the match 1-up at the final hole. The Canadian reached the quarterfinals, but lost 1-up to Connelly in the semi-final.

Meanwhile Argentina’s Andrew Gallegos defeated Brazilian Andre Tourinho and countrymen Matthew Lezcano and Jesus Montenegro to reach the semi-final. He dispatched compatriot Andres Schonbaum 2-up to set up a thrilling final against Connelly.

The local hero defeated Connelly 4&3 to claim a popular home victory the 119th edition of the prestigious championship.

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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