GOLF NEWS - Sam Simpson must be relishing a victory after a flawless six-under-par 66 in the opening round of the Tshwane Junior Open put him the mix for a fourth straight week.
He racked up three birdies on the front nine, pencilled in a fourth red number on his card at the par four 12th and finished with a brace of birdies to set the first round target at Irene Country Club on Thursday.
Simpson has been trending towards a victory in the last month.
The Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series finalist backed up a third place finish in the Dimension Data Junior Open at the end of June with a tie for fifth in the Nomads SA Boys Under-17 Championship two weeks ago and finished sixth overall in the last Nomads Inland National Order of Merit event at Bryanston Country Club on Tuesday.
However, if the 16-year-old Bellville golfer wants to bag the Sunshine Tour Junior Series title in Friday’s final round, he will have to stave off the chasing pack, led by fellow Western Province junior Ayden Senger.
The Durbanville junior started on the 10th and raced to the turn with birdies at 10, 11, 14, 15 and 17 but his putter cooled down over the last nine holes. He bogeyed the fifth, but made up for the loss with a final gain set seven to post five-under 67.
Gauteng North’s Christiaan Maas and Daniel Cronje from Boland also pose a threat.
Maas from Pretoria Country Club was impressive with a tie for eighth in the SA Boys Under-17, while Cronje from Paarl chased the leaders at Bryanston, finishing fourth. Maas carded a 69 and Cronje is four off the pace in joint fourth with Calvin Maia from Kingswood.
Christiaan Burke from North West, who edged out top ranked Martin Vorster in a play-off for victory at Bryanston, cannot be discounted, either. The Potchefstroom junior was three under through 17 holes before a double bogey at the closing hole saw him finish on one-under,
Burke shares sixth with Southern Cape pair Ben van Wyk and Eden Spangenberg, Nikhil Gopal from KwaZulu-Natal, Francois Jansen van Rensburg from Limpopo and Central Gauteng’s Marcus Taylor, who aced the par three 13th and eagled the par five 17th for 71.
First Round Scores
66 Samuel Simpson
67 Ayden Senger
69 Christiaan Maas
70 Calvin Maia; Daniel Cronje
71 Marcus Taylor; Nikhil Gopal; Eben Spangenberg; Francois Jansen van Rensburg; Ben van Wyk; Christiaan Burke
72 Andre van Dyk; Ryan van Velzen; Deon Germishuys; Luhan Bester; Saul Moss; Judd Sundelson
73 Oliver Goldhill; Martin Vorster; Brendan Porter; Nicholas Souranis; Yurav Premlall; Kieron van Wyk
74 Nash de Klerk; Drikus Joubert
75 Luka Stanisavljevic; Brandon Weir; Donneo Catanho; Jordan Duminy; Tristan Galant; Liam Ross
76 Damian Osner; Tyler Johnston; Grant Ferreira; Charles Pieterse; Tiaan Diedericks; Dean Sanders
77 Alessio Graziani; Shaun Jones; Reece Coleman; C.J van Wyk; James Murray; Keyan Loubser; Francois van der Walt
78 Tiaan Tibshraeny; Romain Legentil; Aiden Leeb; Tshimollo Mapefane; Samual Mckenzie
79 Nikhil Rama; Ryan van der Klis; Herman du Plessis; Nico Els
80 Jacques van der Merwe; Remon Rabie; Miles Taylor; Max Hansen; Emerson Bam
81 Claudio Carvalho
82 Darren Neyt; Malan Potgieter; Andrew Inggs
83 Alan Buttle; Jean Pierre van der Watt; Angelo Keffers; Jan-Hendrik Nieuwoudt
84 Hezron Frieslaar
85 Jarryd Elliott; Tiago Swart
86 Ernest Jaco Ludick
87 Alric Rowaan Rooi
88 Jan Petrus Lion-Cachet