Trocado hits the front at Harry Oppenheimer
Luke Trocado led the birdie barrage at Maccauvlei Golf Club to take the first round lead in the Harry Oppenheimer Trophy on Tuesday.
A six-under-par 66 left the Western Province junior in pole position on the jam-packed leaderboard after a low scoring day served up a sea of 23 sub-par rounds.
The 18-year-old Atlantic Beach golfer racked up seven birdies, including three over the last four holes, to finish two strokes clear of fellow Province player Gerlou Roux, Gauteng North’s Hendrikus Stoop and Philip Kruse, Meyer Pauw from Boland and Tristen Strydom from Ekurhuleni.
Reigning Nomads SA Boys U-19 Match Play champion Paul Boshoff leads the pack at three alongside fellow Ekurhuleni amateurs Dylan Mostert and Stefan Cronje, while former Sanlam SA Amateur champion Ryan Dreyer finished in the nine-man bus at two under.
Trocado is a two time winner this season and no stranger to the winner’s circle.
He won the Boland Amateur Stroke Play in April and the Milnerton Open on the WPGU Premier Amateur Tour in August.
The young gun also proved his mettle under pressure in the U-23 and Premier SA Inter-Provincials for Western Province and as a member of the SAGA team in the Challenge Cup Team Tournament, but Trocado will still be watching his rear-view mirror in Wednesday’s second round.
With more than 20 years’ experience, former professional Roux always poses a threat, while Stoop is still riding the confidence of his second provincial victory at the EP Stroke Play Championship earlier this month.
Reigning Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play champion Strydom also enjoyed two podium finishes this season, while Mostert arrived in Vereeniging after tying for eighth in the Central Gauteng Open on Sunday.
Jason Froneman and Jade Buitendag, lagging four off the pace, and Teaghan Gauche, who opened with a 71, also cracked top 10 finishes at the tough East Course at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington at the weekend.
FIRST ROUND SCORES (Top 20)
66 Luke Trocado
68 Gerlou Roux; Meyer Pauw; Tristen Strydom; Hendrikus Stoop; Philip Kruse
69 Paul Boshoff; Dylan Mostert; Stefan Cronje
70 Ryan Dreyer; Fritz Orren; Jason Froneman; Garth Wolter; Quintin Crause; Jade Buitendag; Aubrey Beckley; Kyle Barker; Divan Marais
71 Armandt Scholtz; Teaghan Gauche; Michael Dixon; Herman Loubser; Tjaart van Wyk
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.