Tuks take USSA Championship lead
The University of Pretoria team fought swirling winds, tough greens, first round nerves and the challenges of 15 other sides to earn the first round lead at the annual SSA (University Sport South Africa) Championships in Limpopo.
Helped by a two-under-par 70 from Regard Neethling and a pair of 72s from Werner van Niekerk and Andrew van der Knaap, the Tuks side combined for an opening score of 363 to finish seven shots clear of Stellenbosch University A.
Centurion Academy A moved into third alongside The Golf School of Excellence – Johannesburg on 382, while Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University claimed a share of fifth on 386 with the University of Johannesburg.
Meanwhile Neethling’s opening 70 also launched him into a share of the lead with Christoff Els from Centurion Academy in individual rankings.
The pacesetting duo will take a one shot cushion into the second round on Vico Kuhn from The Golf School of Excellence Johannesburg and two shots on the quartet lurking in fourth.
The Tuks team, winners in 2008, 2009 and 2011, is chasing their fourth victory in the last five years in the prestigious universities championship that launched in 1961.
The Stroke Play qualifier concludes on Tuesday, 2 July and will be followed by Match Play from 3-5 July. The match play format is foursomes and singles.
Although the championship is primarily a team event, the individual winner of the stroke play qualifier will be crowned the National Student Stroke Play champion, with the winner and runner-up automatically qualifying for the 2014 USSA Golf Team that will compete in the Challenge Cup.
FIRST ROUND SCORES TEAMS – TOP 10
363 University of Pretoria (Tuks)
370 University of Stellenbosch A (Maties A)
382 Centurion Academy A (CA A); The Golf School of Excellence JHB (TGSE Jhb)
386 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU); University Johannesburg (UJ)
389 The Golf School of Excellence Pretoria (TGSE Pta)
391 North West University (NWU)
394 Varsity College B (VC B)
397 Varsity College A (VC A)
FIRST ROUND SCORES INDIVIDUAL – TOP 10
70 Christoff Els (CA); 70 Regard Neethling (Tuks)
71 Vico Kuhn (TGSE Jhb)
72 Pieter Rademeyer (NMMU); Werner van Niekerk (Tuks); Andrew van der Knaap (Tuks); P Loubser (Maties A)
73 N Gillespie (UJ); Matthew Spacey (Tuks); D Barnard (Maties); B Mossop (VC)