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Le Roux and Stapleton advance in India

08 Dec 2016

Senior player Francois le Roux from Western Province and Central Gauteng mid-amateur Shaun Stapleton; credit SAGA

Western Province senior Francois le Roux and Shaun Stapleton, a mid-amateur from Central Gauteng, are the only South Africans starting the match play stage in the 116th Amateur Golf Championship of India today.

Le Roux carded an expensive 81 in the first round of the Stroke Play Qualifier, but he caught fire in the second round at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. The 56-year-old from De Zalze returned a two-over-par 74 to guarantee his spot in the top 32 with a tie for 26th at 155.

Stapleton opened with a 76 to lead the eight-man South African contingent alongside senior player Morgan Phillips. A second successive 76 saw the Wanderers Golf Club player finish in a tie for 15th at 152.

Le Roux faces Yuvraj Sandhu from Punjab, who finished sixth overall at 149, while Stapleton takes on joint 17th place finisher Amit Luthra from Delhi in the first knock-out round.

Stefan Blommaert from Western Province opened his campaign with a 78, but he was looking good to join fellow mid-amateur Stapleton and Le Roux on Thursday before a bogey at the 18th put paid to his chances. Blommaert signed for a 79 and missed out by one shot when he clocked in at 157.

Free State mid-amateur Josef Fourie carded rounds of 81 and 77 to finish a further stroke back in joint 37th with Phillips from KwaZulu-Natal, who spoiled his chances with a second round 82.

South Africa’s top ranked senior Steve Williams posted rounds of 79 and 80 to tie for 42nd at 159 and fellow senior Jock Wellington ended at 164 with rounds of 84 and 80.

Sunit Chowrasia from West Bengal won the Stroke Play Qualfier by five strokes on a winning score of two-under-par 142 with rounds of 68 and 74.

Meanwhile the South African team crushed India 11.5 – 4.5 to win the inaugural Golf Test Series on Sunday, but the local heroes exacted their revenge in a friendly match, which was played concurrently over the 36 holes in the Stroke Play Qualifier.

“We started the match on the back foot when Gerlou Roux went down with bronchitis and he was forced to withdraw from the first round and we teed off with an eight shot deficit in the second round,” said assistant manager David Younge.

Roux – South Africa’s number one ranked mid-amateur – battled bravely in the second round to post a 75, but it was too little too late.

“Despite our best efforts, the Indians had their revenge,” Younge said. “They knuckled down and celebrated a well-deserved seven stroke victory. We took the knock as a team and now we are all pulling together to cheer on Shaun and Francois to the finish line.”

Catch the scores at http://indiangolfunion.org/ under RESULTS.

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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