Casey Jarvis and Caitlyn Macnab both produced a late spurt of birdies to surge into pole position on the opening day of the Aon South African Amateur Championships on Sunday.
Just three days after Jarvis became the youngest South African Stroke Play champion with his nine-shot triumph at Randpark, the 16-year-old was in ascendancy again. The State Mines golfer fired flawless nine-under-par 63 on the West Course lead the 36-hole stroke play qualifier by two shots.
Hefired two birdies to start, and rolled in a trio of birdie putts at the eighth, ninth and 10th holes. A birdie on the par four 12th took him to six-under and he fashioned another trio of birdies from the 15thto edge in front of the field. He was just slightly disappointed that he failed to take advantage of the par five closing hole.
‘I was on the right of the fairway and didn’t have a shot at the green, so I tried to cut it but the ball just stayed straight. I short-sided myself between the two greenside bunkers, but I chipped it middle green and two-putted for par, which I will definitely take any day,’ Jarvis said. ‘I’m looking forward to playing the East Course on Monday. I won the Central Gauteng on the East last year and it’s my favourite of the two courses.’
Fellow GolfRSA National Squad member Sam Simpson, England’s James Biggs and Connor Wilson from Scotland tied for second on seven-under.
‘I’ve been staying with Casey for the last two Africa Swing events, and we had some serious putting competitions at Randpark. He is either rubbing off on me or it was the potato bake his mom made us last night, but the putter was just really hot today,’ said the Western Province golfer, whose faultless 67 sported an eagle on the second and five birdies.
Biggs also produced a bogey-free 67s while Wilson pencilled a lone bogey on his card at the par three 16th. The Scotsman also eagled the par five second, while Biggs need just two good shots and a fine putt for a three at the closing hole.
Olly Huggins, who lost to South Africa’s Martin Vorster in a four-hole play-off at the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship, is back in contention. The Scotsman carded 66 to sit in fifth alongside countryman Darren Howie, Charles Larcelet from France and South African trio Christiaan Maas, Jonathan Broomhead and Jordan Burnand.
Matthew Dennis gave the home crown a reason to cheer. The local golfer opened with a 67 to grab a share of 11th with Yurav Premlall and English pair Haider Hussain and Sam Bairstow.
The leading 64 players at the conclusion of the 36-hole qualifier will advance to the match stage of the competition.
Macnab, meanwhile, made a birdie start on the par five opening hole at the East Course in the Aon SA Women’s Stroke Play Championship, but surrendered shots on the fourth and five.
The 18-year-old Serengeti golfer rallied with birdies on six and eight, had another bogey on the par four ninth and while Macnab was putting a string of pars together on the back nine, 14-year-old Kyra van Kan set the early clubhouse target with one-under. ‘I was getting just a little frustrated when everything just clicked,’ said Macnab, who boxed three successive birdie putts from the 15th to take the lead with a three-under-par 69.
‘I had so many lip-outs, but the putts finally started dropping at 15. I was really happy to get those three birdies to get myself into contention. The courses are both in phenomenal condition, but I am looking forward to the West. It’s a bit shorter, so you can be a little more aggressive.’
Macnab will take a one-shot lead into the second round at the West Course, leading fellow GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kaylah Williams from Western Province. The 2019 Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl champion had a lengthy layoff after knee surgery in October, but showed a return to form with a solid two-under-par 70.
Kiera Floyd and Annelie Swanepoel joined Van Kan on one-under, while Larissa du Preez and Nadia van der Westhuizen from Ekurhuleni finished three off the pace. Du Preez – the leading amateur in the first two Sunshine Ladies Tour events in 2020 – was two-under through six, but she dropped five shots over the next five holes. The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member finished strong though, carding three birdies to get back to level par.
Heather Kruger from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal’s Sabiha Bacaus matched each other with rounds of 83 to share the lead in the B-Division (handicap indesx 6.6 – 15.3)
Kamaya Moodliar – also from KwaZulu-Natal – finished third on 12-over, with Samyra Fos from Reunion and Jordan Pillay from Western Province a further two shots adrift in joint four.
At the conclusion of the Aon SA Women’s Stroke Play Championship, the leading 32 players from the A-Division and leading 32 from the B-Division will be merged. The top 32 will contest the Championship division of the Aon SA Women’s Amateur, while the next 32 players will fight for Championship Flight glory.
Aon SA Amateur Championship
Stroke Play Qualifier Round 1 Scores (top 20)
63 Casey Jarvis
65 James Biggs ENG; Samuel Simpson; Connor Wilson SCO
66 Olly Huggins GBR; Darren Howie SCO; Christiaan Maas; Jonathan Broomhead; Charles Larcelet FRA; Jordan Burnand
67 Haider Hussain ENG; Sam Bairstow ENG; Yurav Premlall; Matthew Dennis
68 Oliver Goldhill; Thabiso Magwaza; Ryan van Velzen; Connor Engelmohr GER; Amilkar Bhana; Stephen Roger SCO; Dario Antonisse NED; Kian Rose; Grant Ferreira; Kyle de Beer; Kieron van Wyk; Andrew Williamso
Aon SA Women’s Stroke Play Championship
Round 1 Scores – Championship Division (top 20)
69 Caitlyn Macnab
70 Kaylah Williams
71 Kiera Floyd; Kyra van Kan; Annalie Swanepoel
72 Larissa du Preez; Nadia van der Westhuizen
73 Vicki Traut; Kera Healey
74 Kaiyuree Moodley
75 Marine Legentil; Gabrelle Venter
76 Mila Jurine FRA; Megan Streicher; Demi Flanagan; Isabella van Rooyen
77 Samantha Whateley
78 Kim de Klerk; Noluthando Mdanda; Bobbi Brown
79 Stephanie Barbaglia; Carmen Taljaard; Ladina Semadeni SUI; Bronwyn Leigh Doeg; Marlie Smit; Peace Kabasweka UGA
Round 1 Scores – B-Division
83 Sabiha Bacaus; Heather Kruger
84 Kamaya Moodliar
86 Samyra Fos FRA; Jordan India Pillay
87 Denise Zibel FRA
88 Erica Chen
89 Amanda Kieser
92 Hanne Rademeyer
93 Tyla Potgieter
95 Natalie Singer
96 Rita Teka; Wendy Angudeyo UGA
98 Palesa Headbush
99 Lili Yang Furstenburg
100 Paola Sofia Sakota
101 Veronica Paddy
104 Lelani Mbukwane