GEORGE, 23 June 2019 – Expect an exciting battle for dominance in Tuesday’s final round at Fancourt after local favourite Ben van Wyk grabbed a share of the lead in the Dimension Data Junior Open and six players finished within striking distance of leader Jack Buchanan in the Dimension Data Under-15 Challenge on Monday.
Making the most of his home course knowledge, Van Wyk racked up four birdies on the Outeniqua course, a lone bogey on the par four fifth spoiling an otherwise flawless round.
A four-under-par 68 earned the 2019 Nomads SA Boys Match Play champion a share of the lead on seven-under with Gauteng North pair Christiaan Maas and Zandre Labuschagne.
“I played quite well, but there were a few tough holes out there,” said Van Wyk. “My game plan was to try and hit every fairway and green and I did pretty well. I missed a few fairways, but not by much. The Montagu Course is a lot tougher, so I’ll stick to the same strategy in the final round.”
Maas – who held the overnight lead after an opening 68 at the par 72 Montagu course – offset a trio of birdies in his outward loop with three bogeys. He reeled in four birdies coming home to regain the outright lead, but he let it slip with a bogey finish.
Labuschagne from Pretoria Country Club was also level through the turn and he secured his share of the three-way tie at the top with birdies at 11 and 13 and a brilliant eagle at the par five 17th.
The leaders will start the final round with a two-shot cushion, but will it be enough?
James Murray from George Golf Club is just two off the pace, and Barend Botha from Oubaai Golf Club is three back after both George golfers carded rounds of 68.
GolfRSA National Squad member Cole Stevens is moved into striking distance with a 72 and the South African Golf Development Board player start the final push just four shots off the pace.
Western Province duo Ayden Senger and Francois Cilliers and Gauteng North’s Tobias de Flamingh are also still in with a shout at two-under, while the player to watch could be Samual Mckenzie from Gauteng, who took the low round honours with a seven-under-par 65.
The Royal Johannesburg and Kensington junior finished 10th on one-under.
The Dimension Data Under-15 Challenge moved to the tougher Montagu Course, where Fabi de Abreu fought hard to protect his overnight lead.
The Central Gauteng golfer was in a good position with three holes to play, but he was pipped by Buchanan, who birdied the 16th and the 18th to pull two shots ahead. Buchanan, who plays out of Milnerton Golf Club, posted one-under-71 to finish on three-under 141.
De Abreu shot 75, courtesy of three bogeys on the back nine.
Fellow Woodhill junior Michael Ferreira paid for a wayward drive at the par-three 17th with a bogey, but he made a great par save on 18 for 74 to tie for third on one-over with East London’s Werner Potgieter, who returned 73.
Successive rounds of 73 boosted Sun City Under-15 Challenge champion Jordan Wessels to joint fifth on two-over alongside Agib Aubrey Hughes and Dujuan Snyman, who both registered even par rounds of 72.
Dimension Data Junior Open – Round 2 Scores (top 20)
137 Zandre Labuschagne 69 68; Ben van Wyk 69 68; Christiaan Maas 68 69
139 James Murray 71 68
140 Barend Botha 72 68
141 Cole Stevens 69 72
142 Francois Cilliers 74 68; Ayden Senger 73 69; Tobias Jan de Flamingh 72 70
143 Samual Mckenzie 78 65
144 Reece Coleman 76 68; Nikhil Gopal 71 73; Malan Potgieter 70 74; Louis Loubser 69 75
145 Kieron van Wyk 72 73; Damian Osner 72 73
146 Marcus Taylor 73 73; C.J van Wyk 73 73; Lyle Pedro 71 75; Kyle Kistensamy 71 75
Dimension Data Under-15 Challenge – Round 2 Scores (top 20)
141 Jack Buchanan 70 71
143 Fabrizio de Abreu 68 75
145 Werner Potgieter 72 73; Michael Ferreira 71 74
146 Agib Aubrey Hughes 74 72; Jordan Wessels 73 73; Phil Snyman 71 75
147 Dujuan Snyman 75 72
148 Luc Gavagnin 78 70
151 Joshua Marais 77 74; Tyron Groenveld 76 75; Ockert Brits 74 77
153 Matthew Lotz 76 77; Bernhard Köster 76 77
154 Filip Sakota 71 83; TJ Sandys 71 83
155 Jack Brugman 78 77
158 Pearce Nash Lewin 81 77; Juan Barnard 76 82; Liam James Marais 75 83
PHOTOS – Reigning Nomads SA Boys U-19 Match Play champion Ben van Wyk gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about when he grabbed a share of the second round lead in the Dimension Data Junior Open at Fancourt; credit Ernest Blignault.