Three amateurs make the SA Open cut

JG Claassen with his caddie JP Lombard, on the 18th tee at Pearl Valley Golf EstateThree of the five amateurs playing in the South African Open Championship managed to survive the cut at the end of the second round which concluded today. They are Dylan Frittelli, JG Claassen and Ryan Dreyer.

Playing in the morning on the superbly prepared Jack Nicklaus designed Pearl Valley Golf Estates, both Frittelli and Claassen finished on a 36 hole score of 143, one under par, while Glacier SA Amateur champion Dreyer, who played in the afternoon field, finished on the cut score, 145, one over par.

Spanish professional Pablo Martin leads the field with an eleven under par 133 after a second round of 68, four under par. He is two shots clear of the current leader of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, Anders Hansen, of Denmark, who recorded a 69, three under par today, who is alone in second place at the halfway mark.

Two amateurs missed the cut, they were Adrian Ford (153) who finished tied in 128th place and Leon Knoll (159) tied in 152nd place.

Best round of the day, amongst the amateurs, was that of eighteen year old JG Claassen, from Orkney Golf Club in the North West Province. He recorded a 69, three under par.

Claassen is a player with immense talent, having won ten tournaments this year including the South African and Zimbabwe Amateur Stroke Play Championships as well as the individual competition in the African Teams Championship played in Egypt.

“My chipping was my strong point,” he said after his round. Having achieved his first objective of the week, namely making the cut, he said that he was now focused on winning the Freddie Tait Cup, which goes to the leading amateur on conclusion of the Championship.

Starting on the first tee, the softly spoken Claassen went out in 34, recording two birdies. He stuttered a little on the back nine, bogeying holes 11 and 12 however recovered with birdies on holes 15, 16 and 17 to record a back nine of 35, one under par. Yesterday, he carded a two over par 74.

Dylan Frittelli, recorded a two over par 74The University of Texas freshman, Dylan Frittelli, the leading amateur at the start of the second round, after a three under 69, struggled in comparison to his Thursday’s performance. He went out in 40, four over par. Starting from the 10th tee he recorded his first birdie on his second hole (hole 11). He then proceeded to drop a shot at the par three 12th followed immediately by a double drop on the 13th, a par 5. He managed to pull two shots back playing his last nine holes, being holes one to nine, in two under par 34. He had four birdies and two bogeys, both on par threes.

Ryan Dreyer, the 37 year old Killarney Golf Club member from Central Gauteng, struggled to his 72, by his own admission, after conclusion of his second round. “Yesterday I was four over par after four holes and had to fight back to a one over par 73. Today I was two over par after four holes and again had to work my way back,” said a frustrated Dreyer. “I am not playing badly,” he pointed out.

Dreyer went out and came back in regulation. However his score carded reflected the player’s frustration; three birdies matched by three bogeys.

Dreyer hits his approach to the 18th greenAs a former professional, having left the paid ranks where over a period of time he lost his enthusiasm for the game, coming back to play in the South African Open Championship, he was by his own admission a bit apprehensive. “It was nice to see the guys again and the week has been fun despite my apprehension,” he added. He smiled confidently when asked if he felt he would add his name to the Freddie Tait Cup.

Adrian Ford disappointingly recorded a five over par 77 today to miss the cut by seven shots.

Other amateur in the field, Leon Knoll, continued his struggle with the game recording a 78 and to finish on a 36 hole total of 159.

The third round will be played tomorrow and the final on Sunday.

South African Open Championship

Venue: Pearl Valley Golf Estates (Par 72; 36 holes 144)

Leading scores after the Second Round (South Africans unless stated otherwise):

133 – Pablo Martin (ESP) (65,68)

135 – Anders Hansen (DEN) (66,69)

136 – Alejandro Canizares (ESP) (69,67)

137 – Louis Oosthuizen (68,69), Edoardo Molinari (ITA) (68,69)

138 – Dawie van der Walt (65,73), Adilson da Silva (BRA) (69,69), Martin Erlandsson (SWE) (64,74), James Kingston (72,66)

Leading Amateurs:

143 – JG Claassen (74,69), Dylan Frittelli (69,74)

145 – Ryan Dreyer (73,72)

153 – Adrian Ford (75,77)

159 – Leon Knoll (81,78)

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