Lali Stander – MALELANE, 28 February 2017 – Just four days after his record-setting victory in the Sanlam South African Amateur Championship, Christo Lamprecht constructed a flawless six-under-par 66 at Leopard Creek Golf Estate to sweep into the first round lead in the prestigious African Amateur Championship in Mpumalanga on Tuesday.
Connor Syme from Scotland, who ranks 18th in the world amateur golf rankings, set the early target at five under, but the 16-year-old Southern Cape junior fired six birdies in the afternoon edge to the top of the pile.
Fellow Scotsman Eric McIntosh signed for a 69 to share third with Darin de Smidt from Gauteng and Western Province junior Luca Filippi joined Gauteng North’s Jason Smith and Khaled Attieh from Saudi Arabia at two under.
The first day certainly belonged to South Africa’s top ranked juniors.
Lamprecht and Filippi solid opening efforts and a 78 from Ekurhuleni’s Jayden Schaper saw the GolfRSA Junior SA Team finish the first day locked in the lead with defending champions Scotland in the 54-hole Team Competition.
The Scots put together their two under 214 with the 67 from Syme, an even-par 72 from Liam Johnston and a 75 from Craig Howie.
South Africa’s senior team are not far behind, though.
Kyle McClatchie set the pace for Team RSA with an opening 72, Marco Steyn added a 72 and Aubrey Beckley carded a 73 to put the team in the hunt at even-par 216.
Team Switzerland finished a further stroke back and Team India closed out the top five at 224.
Lamprecht said he made a positive decision to start a new chapter at Leopard Creek this week and being part of the Junior SA Team helped immensely to push the reset button on his 7 & 6 triumph in the final round at Humewood Golf Club last Friday.
“I had a day to just enjoy the victory, but as soon as I met up with the rest of the team, my head was back in the game,” he said. “We have an incredible team spirit going and that helped me to focus. I’m not just playing for myself; I’m playing for all the guys on the team.”
Lamprecht didn’t have a fantastic day with the driver, but his iron-play was lethal and the putter behaved nicely.
“I managed to keep the ball in play, and I gave myself a lot of chances with really solid ball-striking into the greens,” he said. “I’m very glad that I could help the team to a good start and I’ve put myself in a good position, too. This course is everything I’ve heard and seen and more. It’s immaculate and the greens roll so true. I feel so privileged to be playing here for the first time.”
First Round Scores (TOP 20)
66 Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht
67 Connor Syme SCO
69 Eric McIntosh SCO; Darin de Smidt
70 Jason Smith; Luca Filippi; Khaled Attieh KSA
71 Kyle McClatchie; Francesco Quirici SUI; David Nortje
72 Liam Johnston SCO; Marco Steyn; Alexandre Fuchs FRA
73 Clayton Mansfield; Anthoine Auboin FRA; Matt Saulez; Quintin Wilsnach; Franklin Manchest; Jamie Stewart SCO; Jeremy Freiburghaus SUI; Dan Brown GBR; Joseph Long GBR; Aubrey Beckley; Loris Schuepbach SUI
Round 1 – Singles: Best 3 scores of 4 to count
214 Team (Jnr) RSA Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 66 Luca Filippi 70 Jayden Schaper 78
214 Team Scotland Connor Syme 67 Liam Johnston 72 Craig Howie 75
216 Team RSA Kyle McClatchie 71 Marco Steyn 72 Aubrey Beckley 73
217 Team Switzerland Francesco Quirici 71 Jeremy Freiburghaus 73 Loris Schuepbach 73
224 Team India Tapendra Ghai 74 Yashas Chandra 75 Aalaap Indira-Lakshminarayana 75
225 Team France Pierre Pineau 74 Victor Veyret 75 Dimitri Mary 76
227 Team England Dan Brown 73 James Walker 76 Josh Hilleard 78
243 Team Reunion Romain Payet 77 Alexandre Lasalarie 80 Johane Mouniama 86
244 Team Mauritius Florent Toulet 79 Rakesh Channoo 82 Phil Minkley 83
245 Team Zimbabwe Tafara Mpofu 77 David Amm 83 Never Milazi 85