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Higgo heads SA challenge at Western Amateur

02 Aug 2017

Garrick Higgo, Kyle McClatchie, Albert Venter, Clayton Mansfield, Dylan Naidoo and Matt Saulez

Boland junior Garrick Higgo will lead a six-pack of South African challengers into battle in Wednesday’s second round of the prestigious Western Amateur in the United States.

Higgo lined up in the 115th edition of the esteemed amateur championship in Glencoe, Illinois with the country’s number one ranked Kyle McClatchie and fellow GolfRSA National Squad members Albert Venter, Dylan Naidoo and Matt Saulez, as well as reigning Boland Amateur Stroke Play champion Clayton Mansfield.

However, the 17-year-old De Zalze golfer was the only local player to finish in red numbers on a day when 48 golfers shot below par at the Skokie Country Club.

Higgo – who reached the semi-final round of the U.S. Junior Amateur less than a fortnight ago – fired a three-under-par 68 to finish within two shots of the leading quartet that includes 2013 champion and number two ranked amateur in the word, Collin Morikawa, and the winner in 2015, Dawson Armstrong.

After a birdie start, the country’s number two ranked player erased a bogey at the second with a birdie at the third and he was two under at the turn after another gain at the par five seventh. He briefly held the outright lead at five under after further birdies at 11, 13 and 14, but spoiled his great run with a bogey-bogey finish.

With the impending cut to 44 and ties after round two, the rest of the SA pack have work to do.

Just a week after he qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship this August, McClatchie will have to go low if he hopes to extend his stay in Illinois. The Serengeti golfer negated three bogeys and a double bogey at the par five eighth with five birdies, but he finished outside the projected cut line in a tie for 49th at even-par.

Venter from Gauteng North is a further stroke back after mixing a trio of birdies with four bogeys, while Mansfield from KwaZulu-Natal is five over after completing the last nine holes in 41 strokes.

Naidoo, a second-year student at the University of Arkansas, carded a 78 and fourth ranked Saulez from KwaZulu-Natal returned an 80.

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.

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