WP Trio top 1st round leaderboard at SA Amateur

WP Trio top 1st round leaderboard at SA Amateur

CAPE TOWN (17 February 2019) – Western Province’s Luca Filippi, Elton James and Deon Germishuys made their presence felt at King David Mowbray Golf Club in the first round of the 36-hole qualifier for the Sanlam South African Amateur Championship on Sunday.

On a day when windy conditions tested their patience, only 25 players in the 145-starting line-up managed to break par.

Filippi’s nine-under-par 63 held up for the first round lead, with Westlake stalwart Elton James finishing second and defending champion Deon Germishuys grabbing a share of the five-way tie for third.

Teeing off in a stiff two-club wind in the morning, Filippi racked up three birdies and eagled the par five 14th in his outward loop. The 19-year-old GolfRSA National Squad picked up four more gains coming home to present a flawless card.

“I started with two solid pars, but the greens were a little slower than Leopard Creek last week and I left a four-footer for birdie just short at 12,” said South Africa’s number four ranked amateur. “They run true and hold the line well, though, so I told myself to go for the putts; shoot them firm and straight and that worked out well.

“I hit 8-iron to 12 foot at 13 and drained the putt for birdie. I hit my 6-iron at the par five to six foot and made that for eagle. I was three-under and happy with that start. I hit it to give at 16 with a gap-wedge and rolled in a nice 10-footer on 17.

“I made a great up-and-down for par at 18 to turn five-under, and made three solid pars to start the back nine. I hit a 4-iron into the short hole (fourth) and holed a 25-footer for birdie to keep the round ticking over.

“I drained another long putt at five, about 20 foot, for birdie and made a good up-and-down for birdie at six, so a nice little run in the middle of the back nine. It was crucial with the wind to hit fairways and greens and I didn’t miss a fairway all day. And for once, the flat-stick was hot. I made lots of putts, which is always nice at the start of a tournament because it sets you up for the next round.”

James from Westlake rallied with four birdies and an eagle three at the ninth around the turn. He added a further gain at 14 and parred his way home to a six-under 66.

Germishuys knocked out local favourite Christ Woollam at Durban Country Club at the 40th hole to lift the prestigious title and made a case for successive victories with a bogey-free start. The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member had a brace of birdies at 14 and 16 and dipped four shots under par with an eagle at the par five 10th.