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Venter on fire at Leopard Creek

11 Feb 2016

Albert Venter leads the first round of the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek; credit Ernest Blignault

Albert Venter from Gauteng North fired a seven-under-par 65 to take the first round lead in the inaugural African Amateur Stroke Play Championship, while England set the tone in the Team Competition at Leopard Creek Country Club in Mpumalanga on Wednesday.

Venter burst from the blocks with a three-birdie run at 10, 11 and 12 and followed another gain at 14 with a hat-trick of birdies at the last three holes to turn seven under.

The putter went slightly cold on the front nine, but the 20-year-old from Centurion Country Club rallied to overturn a bogey at the par five second with a birdie at the short fifth.

Venter leads by one from Craig Ross from Scotland and recent Gauteng North Open champion, Englishman Jamie Bower and is two shots clear of Herman Loubser from Boland.

Andrew van der Knaap from Gauteng North is a further stroke adrift in joint sixth with Ekurhuleni’s Paul Boshoff.

Meanwhile Bower laid a solid foundation for England in the Teams Competition.

Alfie Plant and Paul Kinnear produced a pair of 75s that powered England into a two stroke lead over the RSA Juniors and France.

Dylan Naidoo closed with a 72 and Ross Sinclair and Luca Filippi contributed two 73s for the RSA Juniors.

Victor Veyret shot 74, Robin Roussel added a 75 and 2015 SA Stroke Play champion Ugo Coussard led the French challenge with a 73.

Meanwhile Loubser, Tristen Strydom (77) and Marco Steyn (78) combined to put the RSA Seniors a stroke ahead of Scotland on six over.

ROUND 1 STROKE PLAY (top 20)
65 Albert Venter
66 Craig Ross SCO; Jamie Bower ENG
67 Herman Loubser
68 Andrew van der Knaap; Paul Boshoff
69 Altin van der Merwe; Jason Rossiter
71 Andre van Heerden (Jnr); Kyle Barker; Sean Bradley; Jamie Savage SCO; Kyle McClatchie
72 Philip Geerts ITA; Michele Cea ITA; Ludovic Bax; David Amm ZIM; Aubrey Beckley; Dylan Naidoo; Jovan Rebula

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