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Gous leads the charge at Fancourt

02 Jul 2013

Reigning SA Boys U-19 champion, Zander Gous, will take a one shot lead into the final round of the Nomads National Order of Merit Tournament at Fancourt; credit Dale Boyce.

A commanding performance in wet and windy conditions at Fancourt moved reigning Nomads SA Boys U-19 champion Zander Gous to the head of affairs at the Nomads Order of Merit Tournament.

Intermittent rain and a gusting breeze in Tuesday’s second round forced the field to make some adjustments, but Gous managed to navigate the Montagu layout in even par, the same score with which he opened his campaign at the Outeniqua course on Monday.

Gous tops the leaderboard at  even-par 144 and will take a one shot lead over Bellville’s Altin van der Merwe into Wednesday’s final round at the challenging par-73 Links.

Van der Merwe returned a 75 and is one shot ahead of four players lurking at two-over-146, including last week’s Nomads SA Boys U-17 runner-up Hennie du Plessis and reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion, Thriston Lawrence.

Gous said the conditions demanded a change in tactics at the Montagu layout.

“The course played quite long and you got very little roll on the ball, so you had to hit your shots higher to gain extra length off the tee,” he said.

The 17-year-old had a birdie and bogey a piece on the front nine, and bounced back from successive bogeys after the turn with birdies at the 15th and 18th holes. “I putted very well today, which got me out of trouble,” he said. “I missed a 15-footer for par at the third, pushed my second to hard and found the water at the 10th and had a bad lie in the rough at the 11th. I boxed a nice, long putt at 18 for birdie that got my round back to par.”

The Piet Retief golfer is enjoying his first visit to Fancourt but is apprehensive about the final round.

“It was a little daunting coming to Fancourt because the three courses here are among the best in the country, but so far, I’m pretty happy with my performance,” the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member said after he got a sneak preview of the challenging Links after the second round.

“I drove the course with Oom Hannes (EEFF CEO Hannes van Niekerk) and this course really does live up to its reputation. The Links is a whole different ballgame and once you’ve seen it, you understand what all the fuss is about.

“They say this is a course that will eat you up and spit you out if you don’t treat it with respect and I believe it. If you can keep it on the straight and narrow, you can keep the bogeys off your card but you can’t afford to get too confident around this layout.”

While Gous appeared to cope well with the intermittent rain, first round leader Rupert Kaminsku from Parkview signed for a disappointing 80 that plunged him to joint 12th.

Polokwane’s Du Plessis began the second round two shots off the pace and stayed two back after a second 75.

Lawrence, however, drew on his experience in similar conditions at the recent Toyota World Junior Golf Championship in Japan, where he finished third in the individual standings and produced a second successive 73 that left him within striking distance of the leader.

The other two players tied for third on 146 are Matt Saulez, who also doubled up on 73s, and MM Mitchel, who followed an opening 71 with a 74.

Local favourite and last week’s Nomads SA Boys U-17 winner, Jovan Rebula, improved on his opening 77 by three shots, but still lags seven shots off the pace.

Click HERE to follow live scoring and HERE for the third round draw.

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