Smith the sole survivor at Brabazon Trophy
Jason Smith from Irene Golf Club will be the lone South African challenging over the final two rounds of the Brabazon Trophy in Nottingham, England.
Smith lined up in the prestigious international event at Notts Golf Club in Hollinwell alongside fellow Gauteng North golfers Teaghan Gauche and Hendrikus Stoop, Matthew Spacey from Central Gauteng and Southern Cape’s Jade Buitendag.
Smith, who ranks third in the South African Golf Association Open Amateur standings, carded rounds of 73 and 75 to make the 36-hole cut, set at four-over-par 148.
He was among exactly 60 players who advanced to the final two rounds, including Englishman Ben Taylor broke away from the three-way tie in the first round with a 70 to take the lead in the prestigious international event.
Taylor from Walton Heath Golf Club leads by two from Scotsman Ewen Ferguson, who fired a five under 67, and countrymen Jack Singh Brar and Paul Kinnear. Lukas Lipold from Austria and Jordan Wrisdale, who shared the first round lead on 69, dropped away after respective rounds of 77 and 69.
Players in the morning draw took full advantage of the perfect scoring conditions, but Smith and his fellow SA squad members were greeted by a stiff breeze in the afternoon.
The 21-year-old Gauteng North player started well again and was one over through nine holes with birdies at four and nine, a drop at four and a double at eight. He dropped shots at 12 and 14, birdied 17 and completed the back nine in 38 strokes after a bogey finish at the par-four 18.
“I’m hitting the ball really well and I am in control of what the ball is doing, but I struggled on the greens the last two days,” Smith said.
“It’s just a bit of rhythm issues that I’m trying to sort out. If I can get the putts to drop, I’m in with a shout, because my ball striking is really good at the moment.
“The course is very demanding from tee to green. The fairways are really narrow and they have an abundance of well-placed fairway bunkers, which makes it even tougher off the tee. It’s an unbelievable course and it is really a privilege to have the chance to play here.”
Fellow TuksSport Golf Academy player Hendrikus Stoop and Matthew Spacey tied on nine over 153.
Stoop from Centurion carded rounds of 77 and 76 and Dainfern’s Spacey posted rounds of 79 and 74.
Making his first appearance after a forced two week lay-off due to acute tendinitis, Teaghan Gauche from Wingate Park registered rounds of 79 and 77 to finish on 12 over 156.
The final member of the SA squad, Jade Buitendag from the KeNako Academy in Kingswood, finished a further stroke adrift after rounds of 79 and 78.
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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.