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Gous, Gounden chase history at SA Boys Champs

05 Apr 2013

Zander Gous and Aneurin Gounden will go head-to-head for the SA Boys U-19 Championship title at Benoni Country Club on Saturday, 6 April; credit Dale Boyce.

South Africa’s Boys U-19 Stroke Play champion Zander Gous is just one match away from winning back-to-back SA Boys titles, but the final match against KwaZulu-Natal’s Aneurin Gounden on Saturday could be his most taxing confrontation yet.

The two Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation players will go head-to-head in a 36-hole final at Benoni Country Club with Gous chasing the elusive “double”, but the newly-crowned SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play champion could be in for a titanic battle given Gounden’s 5&3 victory over semi-finalist Kyle McClatchie.

After fighting for a 1-up win in his quarter-final against Dylan Jacobs from Kuilsriver, Gounden was the picture of calm against Ekurhuleni’s McClatchie.

The Mount Edgecombe player took control of the match with a par at the seventh hole and held his nerve to extend the lead to two at the 10th. He birdied the third hole to go 3-up and went 4-up when McClatchie made a third successive bogey at the 12th. Two holes later, the KZN golfer knocked in a well-timed birdie at the 15th to book his berth in the final.

Meanwhile Piet Retief’s Gous knocked in a long birdie putt at the 18th to defeat Keelan Africa in the quarterfinal before he faced Pretoria’s Jacques Boshoff in the semis.

After the lead changed hands a few times, Gous took command with a birdie at the 15th. Both players parred the 16th and bogeyed the 17th, but the Mpumalanga player capitalised with a solid putt for an eagle-three at the par-five 18th to win 2-up.

Should Gous win, he will add his name into the South African golfing annals along those of former SA number one amateurs Richard Sterne and Dylan Frittelli, who are the only two players to win both titles in the same calendar year. Sterne won  at the Westbank Golf Club in East London in 1999, while Frittelli won the Strokeplay at Durbanville Golf Club in April and the Match Play at Schoeman Park in July 2008.

Should Gounden win, the victory will not only result in a significant boost in his junior rankings, but the unheralded Mount Edgecombe golfer could become the first player of colour to lift the country’s most prestigious junior title.

SEMI-FINAL RESULT

Zander Gous beat Paul Boshoff 2-up

Aneurin Gounden beat Kyle McClatchie 5&3

QUARTER-FINAL RESULT

Zander Gous beat Keelan Africa 1-Up

Paul Boshoff beat Albert Venter 1-Up

Kyle McClatchie beat Tristen Strydom 1-Up

Aneurin Gounden beat Dylon Jacobs 1-Up

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