Taylor has Glendower’s measure
Free State amateur Louis Taylor recovered superbly from a mid-round stumble to sign off on a third round 70, which left him a creditable five under par ahead of Sunday’s final round of the 103rd South African Open Championship.
As soon as he teed off at Glendower Golf Club, Taylor ended up in a bunker and that was the first of several tests the 22-year-old was to face over the next 18 holes.
“I got off to weird start because I hit it in the bunker on one,” said Taylor. “I duffed the bunker shot and that left me with a 15-footer for par. I birdied the next and holed a 60-footer for birdie at the third. That was a big boost for me.”
Despite the challenges, the country’s number six ranked amateur charged to the turn in 30 with six birdies, but his luck turned and dropped three shots over the first two holes. He repeated the bogey and a double bogey sequence at the end of round, but fit two birdies and three pars in between.
“Out on the back nine I hit a few really good shots, but a few just flew too far away,” said Taylor. “I did hit few a good approach shots, but others not so good, and I ended up in the thickest rough.”
Taylor said he felt good at the start of the day and he was really chuffed to be playing at the SA Open.
“I hit it quite nicely on the range this morning and was feeling quite confident going out there this morning,” said Taylor. “I’m really thrilled to be here and winning the Freddie Tait Cup as the leading amateur in the SA Open is obviously a huge honour. I am also getting a chance to feel what the guys experience week in and week out on the European Tour.”
Taylor has set his sights on turning pro and going off to qualifying school.
“I am looking forward to going to the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School in January, and getting my card. I’m not saying that my game is too good to stay an amateur, but I need to step it up a level to challenge myself further. ‘Q’ school is character-building and I hope it goes well.”
Taylor will take pride of place at the 103rd SA Open on Sunday, when he will be handed a trophy previously won by past SA Open champions Denis Hutchinson, Dale Hayes, Tony Johnston, Ernie Els, Hennie Otto and Trevor Immelman.
But first he wants to put in a really solid performance in front of what should be a packed gallery.
“Being the only amateur left, I want to put on a good show and try and finish in the top 10,” said Taylor.
“I want to have a good weekend performance and win the trophy not just because I’m the only amateur to have made the cut, but rather because I played well.”