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McElroy hits the front at SA Stroke Play

05 Feb 2014

Ireland's Dermot McElroy took a two shot lead in the second round of the SA Stroke Play Championship at Benoni Country Club; credit Dale Boyce

It was not the luck of Irish, as some would have it, but the expertise of regular Sunshine Tour caddie Njabulo Myende that helped Ulsterman Dermot McElroy convert a perfectly-timed hot streak of form into a two shot lead at the South African Stroke Play Championship on Tuesday.

The hot amateur prospect from Ballymena showed his liking for the 6,703 meter layout at Benoni Country Club as he reeled in eight birdies – including two sets of three – and dropped just a single shot to produce a sizzling 65 and take the lead at 10-under-par 134.

McElroy said Myende caught his bag after his regular pro, Mikhail Tewary, crashed out of the Joburg Open qualifier.

“Mikhail’s loss is my good fortune,” the 20-year-old said. “I struck the ball extremely well and my short game was on form, too, but when you have a caddie that can even read the spike marks, you pretty much can’t go wrong.”

The Irishman will join Bradley Neil from Scotland and South Africa’s Stefan Cronje in the final match, on Thursday, after the Scotsman fired a 66 and Nigel’s Cronje a 67 to get to eight under.

South Africa’s Jason Smith and Paul Elissalde from France also took route 66 to finish three shots back, while the Swiss pair of Joel Girrbach (70) and Edouard Amacher (65) are tied a further stroke back on six under with overnight leader Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

The local favourite had to draw on all his powers of recovery to eliminate five bogeys for a 74.

South Africans Luke Trocado, Kevin Smith, Russel Franz, Hendrikus Stoop, Matthew Spacey, David Meyers and Mohit Mediratta were among the 11 players who made the cut, set at two-over-par 146.

Second Round Leading Scores

134 - Dermot McElroy IRE 69 65

136 - Bradley Neil SCO 70 66, Stefan Cronje 69 67

137 - Jason Smith 71 66, Paul Elissalde FRA 71 66

138 - Joel Girrbach SUI 68 70, Edouard Amacher SUI 73 65, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 64 74

139 - Fezekile Kana 73 66, Altin van der Merwe 72 67, Gary Hurley IRE 69 70

140 - Nicholas Gillespie 70 70, Romain Langasque FRA 71 69, Zander Lombard 70 70, Kyle McClatchie 68 72, Leon Scheepers 73 67, Andrew Carlsson 68 72, Chris Selfridge IRE 66 74, Ewen Ferguson SCO 67 73, Meyer Pauw 69 71

141 - Andrew van der Knaap 70 71, Edgar Catherine FRA 71 70, James Du Preez 72 69, Keegan de Lange 72 69, Gerlou Roux 71 70, Scott Gibson SCO 68 73, Geoff Lenehan IRE 71 70

142 - Bryce McCabe 70 72, Gareth Clements 69 73, Mathieu Decottignies - Lafon FRA 69 73, Dean Martin 73 69, Kevin Rundle 71 71, Bob McIntyre SCO 73 69, N J Arnoldi 71 71, Connor Syme SCO 71 71

143 - Rupert Kaminski 71 72, Tudor Bismark 70 73, David Ravetto FRA 74 69, Aubrey Beckley 72 71, Paul Boshoff 73 70, M H Steyn 68 75, Rudi Armstrong 73 70, Henri Van der Walt 71 72, Jack Hume IRE 73 70, Thriston Lawrence 73 70, Toby Tree ENG 70 73

144 - Gregoire Schoeb FRA 75 69, Michael Dixon 74 70, Ryan Dreyer 72 72, Cedomir Ilic SER 71 73, Jovan Rebula 73 71, Ludovic Bax 73 71, Carlo O’Reilly 72 72, Michael-James Steyn 73 71, Philip Kruse 71 73, Jamie Savage SCO 71 73, Hendrik du Plessis 74 70

145 - Alex Botha 73 72, Neal Woernhard 76 69, Albert Venter 72 73, Jade Buitendag 70 75, Ruan Conradie 75 70, Norman Raad 76 69

146 - Mohit Mediratta 73 73, Thomas Le Berre FRA 74 72, David Meyers 74 72, Matthew Spacey 70 76, Hendrikus Stoop 73 73, Alexandre Daydou FRA 74 72, Russel Franz 77 69, Reeve Whitson IRE 73 73, Kevin Smith 70 76, Luke Trocado 73 73, Robbie Cannon IRE 71 75

 

For further information, please contact:

Andre Pieterse (SAGA President) Cell: 082 771 8614

Bruce Younge (SAGA Executive Director) Cell: 082 374 3455

 

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

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