Martin Vorster birdied 17 and eagled the 18th at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club to advance to the top 32 of the matchplay stage with the other three top-ranked amateurs in South Africa in the Aon South African Amateur Championship.
In a tense match, the Southern Cape junior edged Crismar Engelbrecht, who led two up through the turn. The De Zalze couldn’t match Vorster’s eagle on the final hole to extend the match and Vorster won the match to set up a date with fellow GolfRSA Protea Kyle de Beer.
De Beer also won an equally hard-fought battle one up against England’s Peter Handcock.
South Africa’s No 1 amateur and recent SA Stroke Play Championship winner Casey Jarvis finished a two-and-one victor over Siyanda Mwandla, and he will face last year’s beaten finalist Jordan Duminy.
‘The eagle putt on 18 was the first putt that dropped the whole day,’ said Vorster, who made an equally clutch eagle at Leopard Creek two weeks ago to get into a playoff ahead of his victory in the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship.
‘I hit the ball really well today, but the putter was really cold. Crismar was struggling a bit towards the end of the front nine, and I was just making pars to be two up. Then he started rolling in a few putts and I found myself one down with three to play.
‘It was tough to fight back from that, especially with the putter being cold. Matchplay is all about putting. I was hitting it close most of the time, closer than he was, but he ended up making the putts and I was missing. So it was really pleasing to see the putt go in in the last.’
De Beer also needed eagle on the last for his win.
‘It was a very tough game,’ he said. ‘Peter outplayed me for the first 14 holes, and I came alive a little bit down the stretch and saved it on the last with the eagle. I was five under in my last six to get it done, and that’s a good confidence booster going into tomorrow.’
For reigning Nomads SA Boys U17 champion Duminy, it was relief as he struggled to beat French Boys U16 champion Martin Couvra one up.
He anticipates a tasty matchup with Jarvis. ‘Casey’s on form, so it should be a good game. I’m good friends with him, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll just play my normal game, and do whatever I can to play well.’
Jarvis was pleased to have a close-fought encounter to set him up for the clash with Duminy. ‘It gives me a bit of confidence going into tomorrow,’ he said. ‘I’m going to have a tough game, so confidence is important.’
The biggest win of the day came from Scotland’s Connor Wilson, who dispatched the host club’s Michael Wallace six and four. Luca Filippi, who won the Proudfoot Trophy last year, was also a big winner.
‘My game was feeling good and I was happy to close it out early,’ said Filippi, who prevailed five and four over Jordan Burnand. ‘Everything in my game was working well, but I drove it really well off the tee, and you need that in match play to put pressure on your opponent.’
Sam Simpson made it two Proudfoot victories for Western Province in a row and this year’s winner was a very happy man after he routed Christopher Gutuza three and two.
‘I am so relieved that I’ve beaten the Proudfoot Trophy curse. I wasn’t knocked out in the first round, so that has done my confidence a world of good. I drove the ball nicely and putted really well, so looking forward to the next round,’ said Simpson, who will meet Dutch player Nordin van Tilburg in the second round.
Round 1 Results
(All players South African unless otherwise specified).
Samuel Simpson beat Christopher Gutuza 3 & 2;
Nordin van Tilburg NED beat Kieron van Wyk 4 & 3;
Olly Huggins GBR beat Hein Dreyer 3 & 2;
Nash de Klerk beat Cade Cryer 21st hole;
Jules Helary beat Sam Bairstow ENG 19th hole;
Jake Bolton ENG beat Tom Vaillant FRA 2 & 1;
Haider Hussain ENG beat Ryan Welsh 2 & 1;
Andrew Williamson beat Ryan van Velzen 4 & 3;
Christiaan Maas beat Tyran Snyders 2 & 1;
Connor Engelmohr GER beat Stuart Easton SCO 1Up;
Kyle de Beer beat Peter Handcock GBR 1Up;
Martin Vorster beat Crismar Engelbrecht 1Up;
Cole Stevens vs James Biggs ENG Conceded due to Biggs injury
James Wilson SCO beat Nikhil Rama 1Up;
Yurav Premlall beat Amilkar Bhana 19th hole;
Robin Williams GBR beat Jonathan Broomhead 2 & 1;
Casey Jarvis beat Siyanda Mwandla 2 & 1;
Jordan Duminy beat Martin Couvra FRA 1Up;
Christiaan Burke beat Francois Cilliers 20th hole;
Nicolas Muller FRA beat Therion Nel 2Up;
Connor Wilson SCO beat Michael Wallace 6 & 4;
Christo Lamprecht Jnr beat Charles Larcelet FRA 3 & 2;
Koen Kouwenaar NED beat Rigardt Albertse 1Up;
Kian Rose beat Sean Paxton 5 & 4;
Joseph Long GBR beat Elliot Anger FRA 20th hole;
Loris Schuepbach SUI lost to Hugo Archer FRA 1Up;
Luca Filippi beat Jordan Burnand 5 & 4;
Bob Geurts NED beat Oliver Goldhill 3 & 1;
Darren Howie SCO beat Aran Sinclair 4 & 3;
Aneurin Gounden beat Stephen Roger SCO 3 & 2;
Theo Boulet FRA beat Dario Antonisse NED 1Up;
Gregory McKay beat Liam van Deventer 3 & 2.
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