CAPE TOWN, 26 April 2017 – Just four days after Clayton Mansfield lifted the Boland Amateur Stroke Play title, fellow Durban Country Club golfer Matt Saulez will attempt to make it two in a row for KwaZulu-Natal when he starts the final two rounds of the Western Province Amateur Stroke Play Qualifier in pole position at Westlake Golf Club.
Like Mansfield, the GolfRSA National Squad player is also hunting a maiden provincial title on the South African Golf Association’s nation Open Amateur circuit.
The number five ranked player had close calls in 2016 with a runner-up finish in the Princess Grant Amateur and fourth places in the Limpopo Open and Mpumalanga Open and reached the final of the KwaZulu-Natal Match Play. Third place finishes this season in the Northern Amateur Open Stroke Play Qualifier, the North West Open and Boland Amateur Stroke Play suggest that Saulez might be moving closer and closer to his breakthrough.
Saulez posted rounds of 69 and 67 at Westlake Golf Club to edge one shot clear of local favourite and two-time South African Mid-Amateur Stroke Play champion Gerlou Roux.
The 20-year-old Durban golfer sandwiched an eagle at the par-five seventh between birdies at six and eight to turn four under and took advantage of the par fives on the back nine (13 and 16) to counter a lone bogey at 11.
“I had a solid day all in all with very few mistakes,” Saulez said. “It was a pretty stress-free round apart from the soft bogey at 11.
“I holed a nice long putt from off the green at the seventh for the eagle, which was pretty great. I am driving the ball very nicely and rolling it good on the greens and that set me up for two solid rounds for the first two days.
“I’m feeling very positive and I have a lot of belief in my game and myself, which gives me a lot of confidence going into the final two rounds today. The focus will be exactly the same as the first two days – have fun and stay patient.”
Roux birdied the second erased an expensive seven at the par-five fourth and another dropped shot at six with birdies at seven, 10 and 11 to get back to level. Further birdies at 13, 16 and 18 cancelled a third bogey at 15 and he signed for 69.
Christo Lamprecht and the man he beat to win the 2017 Sanlam SA Amateur title in March – Caylum Boon – carded respective rounds of 70 and 72. The Southern Cape duo share third with Nicholas Fraude from Gauteng North, who shared the low round honours with Saulez.
SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD (top 20)
136 Matt Saulez 69 67
137 Gerlou Roux 68 69
138 Nicholaus Frade 71 67; Christo Lamprecht 68 70; Caylum Boon 66 72
139 Kyle McClatchie 66 73
140 Louis Albertse 70 70
141 Hans-Jurie Human 73 68; Marco Steyn 70 71
142 Franklin Manchest 74 68; Siyanda Mwandla 69 73; Christian Basson 69 73
143 Samuel Simpson 74 69; Kyle de Beer 74 69; Therion Nel 73 70; Elton James 72 71; Andre van Heerden 72 71; Malcolm Mitchell 72 71; Erhard Lambrechts 72 71; Pietie Loubser 71 72; Steven le Roux 68 75