LANGEBAAN, 4 April 2017 – Curro SA Juniors International champion Wilco Nienaber found himself deadlocked for the lead with two members of South Africa’s victorious All-Africa Junior Golf Championship team and two more in close pursuit as second round action wrapped up in the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play Qualifier on Tuesday.
Nienaber won the SA Boys U-15 and U-17 titles and the 16-year-old from Bloemfontein put himself in strong position to challenge for a third Nomads SA Boys title with a four-under-par 68. He took the lead at nine-under, but overnight leader Christo Lamprecht from Southern Cape and Jayden Schaper from Ekurhuleni made it a party of three at Langebaan Golf and Sports Club.
Reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion Lamprecht clung to a share of pole position with a 69, while Schaper – who won the SA Boys U-13 and U-15 titles – threw his name in the hat with a 67.
The 36-hole cut to the top 64 and ties was set at nine over, leaving 67 players in the field that will contest the third and final rounds on Wednesday to earn a coveted spot in the 32-man line-up that will challenge for the Match Play Championship title.
Nienaber, Lamprecht and Schaper will start the third round with a two shot cushion over Luke Mayo from KwaZulu-Natal and Southern Cape’s Martin Vorster, the reigning Nomads SA Boys U-17 champion, who posted respective rounds of 67 and 69.
However, trouble could lurk just behind the duo in second.
Western Province’s Deon Germishuys carded a 68 and Ruan Groenewald from Mpumalanga shot 67 to finish four shots off the pace. And it gets worse for the leading trio with Luca Filippi and Garrick Higgo sitting a further shot adrift in joint eighth with Werner Deyzel from Gauteng North, who returned a second round 69.
Last year, an eagle finish in the third round propelled Germishuys into contention and the Strand golfer closed with a 70 to win the Stroke Play Qualifier at Bloemfontein Golf Club.
Filippi from Western Province won the Individual Boys Competition at the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship by 12 shots, while South Africa’s top ranked Higgo from Boland fired a blistering final round 65 to tie the amateur record at Royal Harare Golf Club.
Higgo carded a 69 and Filippi produced a flawless 67 that featured an eagle three at the final hole to finish within striking distance of the leaders. With Filippi in threatening form over the last six weeks and Higgo bent on revenge after losing last year’s final to Ross Sinclair, they will have a point to prove and if this pair catch fire early on Wednesday, the 36-hole pacesetters will definitely have a fight on their hands.
SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD (TOP 20)
135 Jayden Schaper 68 67; Wilco Nienaber 67 68; Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 66 69
137 Luke Mayo 70 67; Martin Vorster 68 69
139 Ruan Groenewald 72 67; Deon Germishuys 71 68
140 Luca Filippi 73 67; Garrick Higgo 71 69; Werner Deyzel 71 69
141 Christiaan Burke 73 68; Tyron Davidowitz 72 69; Andre van Dyk 72 69; Ian Botha 71 70; Reece Haikney 70 71; Daniel Cronje 70 71
143 Wian van Aswegen 72 71
144 Tyran Snyders 72 72; Gianni Pera 71 73; Carlo Heunis 69 75
145 Marco Massiceti 73 72; Kifentse Nukeri 72 73; Yurav Premlall 71 74