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SA team takes lead at All-Africa Junior Champs

03 Apr 2012

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (credit Jeremy Campion)

The South African U-19 Junior Team shifted gears and opened up a yawning gap on their challengers on day two of the All-Africa Junior Golf Championships at the Gaborone Golf Club.

The South African team mounted their title defence with an opening 218 to share the overnight lead with Zimbabwe, but the local side came out firing on all cylinders to gain the outright lead in the morning round. A strong performance in the afternoon saw the SA quartet extend their advantage to 28 shots ahead of Wednesday’s final round.

First round pacesetter Ian Snyman was heavily punished for wayward tee shots into the penal rough and limped home in 80, but the Western Province amateur was backed up by his teammates to set up a 12 shot lead after the first 18 holes.

Western Province’s Dylan Raubenheimer signed for a 69, Gauteng North’s Zander Lombard carded a 72 and Christiaan Bezuidenhout from Ekurhuleni produced a three-under-par 68 to take the team total to 427.

In the afternoon session, Snyman hit his stride with a 69 which was matched by Lombard, while Raubenheimer carded a 71. But it was Bezuidenhout who put the local side firmly in the driving seat.

After a bogey at the second hole, the Delmas golfer strung together a solid round with seven birdies for a six-under-par 65.

The South Africans will start the final day with a total of 630 and a demanding 28 shot lead over Zimbabwe, with Namibia in third place on 662.

“It was very important to this team to defend the title and they were pretty disappointed that they failed to take the outright lead in the first round,” said South African Golf Association president, Colin Burger.

“Today they all played to their strengths and it showed in the scores. Christiaan was the anchor in both rounds. Dylan has been rock solid and Zander found his rhythm in the third round. Ian struggled off the tee in the second round and the rough here is absolutely penal, anything slightly offline is punished. But he more than made up for it in the third round.

“Each member of the team contributed. That’s always important in a team competition. The guys are delighted with their lead and I’d say we are pretty much where we planned to be in our title defence.”

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