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Strydom seals early win in George as he tries to grab back No1 ranking
- Updated: March 2, 2016
Tristen Strydom took his first step towards his goal of regaining his number one ranking in the country when he made it through the first round of the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship at George Golf Club on Tuesday.
The Ekurhuleni golfer beat Boland’s Garrick Higgo 2&1. He will face Gauteng North’s Philip Kruse in the second round. Kruse beat beat Proudfoot Trophy winner Rory Franssen of Scotland 1Up.
Strydom battled his way through a 36-hole qualifier on Sunday and Monday in which his frustrations with his own game were heightened by losing his number one ranking to Marco Steyn, who went through with a 4&3 victory over the Free State’s Richard Maree.
‘I’m gutted about that but I can get it straight back this week,’ he said. ‘Obviously you don’t think you’ll be number one forever, but I was in a position where I didn’t think anybody could catch me. I was number one for a long time and it’s not a good feeling losing that ranking, so I really want to get it back this week.’
Strydom and Higgo were All Square through 11 holes, and then Strydom birdied holes 12 and 14, lost to a birdie on 15, birdied 16 and then had a comfortable two-putt for par to halve the 17th.
‘My golf’s not great at the moment. I’m just hanging in there and trying to prepare myself mentally for what I hope will be a long week because I enjoy match play,’ said Strydom.
Kruse was delighted with his win over Franssen. ‘I’m very pleased considering how well Rory played in the stroke play qualifier. He didn’t play his best today and I capitalised on that. I also didn’t play brilliant golf but it got me through.’
David Meyers survived an early scare when he fought back from being 3Down through eight holes to winning 4&3 against fellow Central Gauteng golfer Keegan Steyn.
And it was thanks to an incredible run where he won the next seven holes from the eighth with four birdies and two eagles. Steyn bogeyed the short 15th while Meyers parred to take the win.
It was a sublime stretch of golf that surprised Steyn, who on the par-three 13th hit his tee shot to six feet while Meyers was 25 feet away. He lost the hole as Meyers made birdie and he two-putted for par.
It was this sudden turnaround in putting form that also saw Meyers eagle the par-five 11th and 14th holes with respective putts of eight and 40 feet. ‘It was the first time in my career that I was down in a match play game and stayed calm, then the putter got really hot,’ he said.
George Golf Club’s Jovan Rebula had a solid start to his bid to win a title that eluded him last year when he was beaten by Scotland’s Daniel Young in the final in Pretoria.
Rebula made it through the first round with a 5&4 win over fellow Southern Cape golfer Gerhard Faber.
Picture of Strydom, courtesy of Pieter Els
Match Play Result for Round 1
(Players are South African unless stated otherwise)
Rory Franssen SCO lost to Philip Kruse 1Up;
Garrick Higgo lost to Tristen Strydom 2 & 1;
Christian Basson lost to Herman Loubser 6 & 4;
Angus Ellis-Cole lost to Kieran Vincent ZIM 2 & 1;
Dylan Naidoo beat Lwazi Gqira 5 & 4;
David Meyers beat Keegan Steyn 4 & 3;
Luca Filippi beat Steven le Roux 5 & 4;
Nicholas Mitchell beat Veer Ahlawat IND 1Up;
Aubrey Beckley lost to Alistair Snowdon 1Up;
David Amm ZIM lost to Calum Fyfe SCO 3 & 2;
Jamie Bower ENG beat Michael Harradine SUI 3 & 2;
Emilio Pera beat Louis Albertse 20th hole;
Altin van der Merwe beat Gerlou Roux 19th hole;
Quintin Wilsnach lost to Loris Schuepbach SUI 2 & 1;
Albert Venter beat Paul Boshoff 3 & 2;
Sandy Scott SCO beat Andre Nel 1Up;
Craig Ross SCO beat James Pennington 2 & 1;
Neal Woernhard SUI lost to Fezekile Kana 2 & 1;
Luke Trocado lost to Andrew van der Knaap 5 & 3;
Paul Kinnear ENG beat Cameron Moralee 2 & 1;
Darin de Smidt beat Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 20th hole;
Yashab Chandra IND beat Attie van Wyk 1Up;
Matt Saulez beat Pietie Loubser 1Up;
Jovan Rebula beat Gerhard Faber 5 & 4;
Franklin Manchest lost to David Mcintyre 5 & 4;
Deon Germishuys beat Dylan Mostert 2Up;
Noel Anderson lost to Kyle Barker 2 & 1;
Kyle McClatchie beat Michael Sherriff 20th hole;
Luke Mayo beat Therion Nel 1Up;
Marco Steyn beat Richard Maree 4 & 3;
Sentanio Minnie beat Jade Buitendag 4 & 3;
James du Preez beat Scott Gibson SCO 3 & 2.