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SA duo improves at Duke of York

12 Sep 2012

SA Amateur Stroke Play champion Haydn Porteous surged to a tie for 32nd in round two of the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy in Scotland

Haydn Porteous and Tristen Strydom took advantage of early tee times at Troon to surge towards the positive end of the 36-hole leaderboard at the 12th Duke of York Young Champions Trophy in Scotland on Wednesday.

As the wind continued to gust and rain pelted the fairways at the historic Ayrshire links, not one player in the field of 53 managed to break par and the low round of the day was an even-par 72 from Sweden’s Tobias Eden.

After an unsatisfactory opening 85, Porteous responded with a four-over-par 76 and moved into a tie for 32nd on 161. The reigning SA Amateur Stroke Play champion excelled last year and just missed the chance to join a three-way play-off for the title, but his chances for a victory this year is well shot. With just 18 holes left in the 54-hole tournament, South Africa’s leading amateur trails second round leader, Katja Pogacar, by a mammoth 15 strokes.

The Slovenian Girls champion took advantage of two previous turns in this prestigious event to set the bar at two-over-par 146 with rounds of 72 and 74. She leads by two from overnight leader Max Orrin and Matthew Fitzpatrick, both from England. Still.

Reigning SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play champion Strydom also took advantage of an early start to improve six shots on his opening 84.

The 15-year-old’s 78 saw vault to a tie for 35th and within one shot of Porteous.

Reigning SA Girls Stroke Play champion Michaela Fletcher struggled to a 90 in the brutal conditions, slipping to a tie for 49th on a total of 175.

Golfing greats such as Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Watson, Mark Calcavecchia and Justin Leonard have all triumphed at Troon.

The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy is a breeding ground for stars of the future but the field of 53 national champions have been tested to the limit. Whoever collects the silverware at the 12th Duke of York Young Trophy on Thursday, will certainly have prevailed in a test as stern as that experienced by the world’s best.

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