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Scots celebrate as Lamprecht hangs on at Leopard Creek

02 Mar 2017

Scotland celebrated a successful title defence in the Team Competition; credit Ernest Blignault.

Scotland celebrated an early victory at the African Amateur Championship with a successful title defence in the Team Competition, but the visitors are still trying to catch Christo Lamprecht in the 72-hole Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek Golf Estate.

Lamprecht, who led through the first two rounds, maintained his impressive bid for back-to-back victories after his record-setting triumph in the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship last week with a one-under-par 71 in Thursday’s third round.

He moved to nine under 207, two strokes clear of Scotland’s Liam Johnston and Connor Syme.

Johnston carded a 70 and Syme signed for a 72, while Craig Howie posted a 70 for a final round 212 in the Team Competition that sealed victory for Scotland on a winning total of 16-under-par 632.

The Team RSA Juniors also closed with a final round 212, but finished two shots adrift after Garrick Higgo carded a 70 and Jayden Schaper matched Lamprecht’s 71.

Team England took third at six over 654, Team RSA fourth on 657 and Switzerland fifth on 659.

Lamprecht opened the third round with a birdie at the first, but he bogeyed the third and Syme pounced with birdie-birdie start to edge ahead.

Further gains at nine and 11 moved the world number 16 ranked amateur to 11 under, but his run hit a speedbump with a bogey at 12. A double-bogeyed the par four 17th followed and another drop at the final hole let the 16-year-old Southern Cape teenager back in the door.

“I played awesome for the first 11 holes,” said Syme.

“I didn’t miss a shot, but got unlucky at 12 and made a drop. The double-bogey, bogey finish was disappointing. I just hit a poor tee shot on 17 and had to take an unplayable. It was a poor finish, but I’m still in a good position heading into tomorrow and anything can happen on this course.

“You just have to look at the 18th. It’s a par-five finish so you could easily have a two-shot swing. At least we defended our title in the Team Competition. You want to win it, but you can only play your own ball and hope that the others do well.”

Syme will be looking to put some pressure on Lamprecht early in the final round.

“I’ve been getting off to a fast start every day, so I’m just going to try and keep the momentum going,” he said. “I’ll be trying to make as many birdies as possible because I think the scores will be low and I’m predicting a tight finish.

“I received an invite to the Joburg Open and it was an amazing opportunity to play in my first European Tour event. I had a really good week and played really well, so I had a lot of confidence coming in to this week.
Syme is hoping for a strong finish to boost his world ranking.

“I plan to join the pro rans eventually, but for the moment I’m happy playing amateur events and I will take my chances as they come up,” he said. “The Walker Cup is a big goal for me this year.

“It really helps massively to get the support of Dunhill, Mr Rupert, Scottish Golf and Aberdeen Asset Management that bring us out to South Africa each year. This is my fourth visit and you just don’t get a better learning opportunity for what tour life is like.”

Lamprecht is relishing the prospect of a final round tussle, but the Southern Cape teenager doesn’t plan to change his approach.

“I’m just going to play the last round like any other round,” said the Louis Oosthuizen Junior Academy member. “I didn’t play great today and it was my worst ball-striking day of the week, but I can’t really complain because I still shot one under.

“I struggled on the front nine and my putting wasn’t great. I just tried to keep the ball in play and I didn’t make any stupid mistakes. My goal is to go under par tomorrow and if I can get it to a couple under, I will be right up there.”

Third Round Scores (top 20)
207 Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 66 70 71
209 Liam Johnston SCO 72 67 70; Connor Syme SCO 67 70 72
210 Joseph Long GBR 73 69 68
211 Jamie Stewart SCO 73 68 70
212 Eric McIntosh SCO 69 72 71
213 Anthoine Auboin FRA 73 67 73; Luca Filippi 70 69 74
214 Craig Howie SCO 75 69 70; Jeremy Freiburghaus SUI 73 67 74; Khaled Attieh KSA 70 72 72
215 Herman Loubser 78 67 70; Calum Fyfe SCO 77 69 69
216 Franklin Manchest 73 75 68
217 Darin de Smidt 69 74 74
218 Garrick Higgo 79 69 70
219 Mitchell Waite GBR 81 68 70; Jayden Schaper 78 70 71; Josh Hilleard GBR 78 67 74; Aneurin Gounden 76 75 68; Steven le Roux 75 72 72; David Nortje 71 76 72

Team Competition Result
Best 3 scores of 4 to count

632 Team Scotland 214 Connor Syme 67 Liam Johnston 72 Craig Howie 75; 206 Liam Johnston 67 Craig Howie 69 Connor Syme 70; 212 Craig Howie 70 Liam Johnston 70 Connor Syme 72

634 Team (Jnr) RSA 214 Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 66 Luca Filippi 70 Jayden Schaper 78; 208 Garrick Higgo 69 Luca Filippi 69 Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 70; 212 Garrick Higgo 70 Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 71 Jayden Schaper 71

654 Team England 227 Dan Brown 73 James Walker 76 Josh Hilleard 78; 211 Josh Hilleard 67 James Walker 71 Sean Towndrow 73; 216 Dan Brown 71 Sean Towndrow 72 James Walker 73

657 Team RSA 216 Kyle McClatchie 71 Marco Steyn 72 Aubrey Beckley 73; 217 Marco Steyn 72 Albert Venter 72 Kyle McClatchie 73; 224 Aubrey Beckley 73 Albert Venter 75 Kyle McClatchie 76

659 Team Switzerland 217 Francesco Quirici 71 Jeremy Freiburghaus 73 Loris Schuepbach 73; 217 Jeremy Freiburghaus 67 Loris Schuepbach 75 Neal Woernhard 75; 225 Jeremy Freiburghaus 74 Neal Woernhard 75 Loris Schuepbach 76

664 Team France 225 Pierre Pineau 74 Victor Veyret 75 Dimitri Mary 76; 218 Dimitri Mary 71 Pierre Pineau 73 Victor Veyret 74; 221 Dimitri Mary 73 Pierre Pineau 73 Victor Veyret 75

676 Team India 224 Tapendra Ghai 74 Yashas Chandra 75 Aalaap Indira-Lakshminarayana 75; 220 Tapendra Ghai 71 Aalaap Indira-Lakshminarayana 74 Yashas Chandra 75; 232 Yashas Chandra 73 Tapendra Ghai 78 Aalaap Indira-Lakshminarayana 81

706 Team Reunion 243 Romain Payet 77 Alexandre Lasalarie 80 Johane Mouniama 86; 234 Jeremy Ablancourt 77 Alexandre Lasalarie 78 Romain Payet 79; 229 Romain Payet 74 Alexandre Lasalarie 77 Johane Mouniama 78

710 Team Mauritius 244 Florent Toulet 79 Rakesh Channoo 82 Phil Minkley 83; 231 Phil Minkley 75 Ritish Venkamah 78 Florent Toulet 78; 235 Florent Toulet 76 Rakesh Channoo 79 Phil Minkley 80

713 Team Zimbabwe 245 Tafara Mpofu 77 David Amm 83 Never Milazi 85; 230 David Amm 71 Tafara Mpofu 79 Liberty Gumisa 80; 238 David Amm 79 Tafara Mpofu 79 Never Milazi 80 

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

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