Venter in hunt at Western Gailes

Albert Venter; credit Neil Homann

South Africa’s Albert Venter will head into today’s third round of the Carrick Neill Scottish Men’s Open Championship just two shots off the pace from Scottish pair Craig Howie and Liam Johnston, who share the 36-hole lead at seven under with David Micheluzzi from Australia.

The GolfRSA National Squad player carded an opening two under 69 on Friday and dipped three shots below par at Western Gailes Golf Club on Saturday to grab a share of fifth on five under 137 with Liard Shephard from England.

Venter blasted from the blocks with an eagle two at the first and racking up birdies at three, four and six. Successive drops at 11 and 12 chipped away at his advantage, but the HPC Golf Academy player countered a third bogey on the back nine with a birdie at the par five 14th stay in the hunt.

Franklin Manchest from Southern Cape also gained some great momentum in round two to lie within six shots of the pacesetting trio.

The George golfer notched birdies at four, six, eight and 14 in a flawless performance at the par-71 championship layout and a four-under-par 67 saw Manchest rocket to a tie for 16th at one under 141.

The SA Golf Development Board graduate sits three shots ahead of fellow South Africans Matt Saulez and Garrick Higgo, who made the cut on the number.

Saulez from KwaZulu-Natal opened with a 71 and added a 73 in round two, while Higgo from Boland followed his first round 70 with 74 in the second round.

Recent Brabazon Trophy champion Kyle McClatchie shaved a full seven shots off a disappointing first round 78, but his even-par 71 was not enough to help the Wanna Be A Champion player make the final two rounds.

Fellow GolfRSA National Squad player Marco Steyn also received marching orders after rounds of 80 and 74 alongside compatriots Gregory Royston, Tom Watson and Jason Ackerman.

Carrick Neill is recognised in the market as one of the UK’s leading providers of golf insurance for both golf clubs and golfers alike. The company has a long association with Scottish Golf and became official sponsors of the Scottish Men’s Open Championship in 2010.

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.