Englishman wins SA Amateur qualifier
England’s Laurie Canter has beaten overnight leader Allan Versveld in a play-off to win the SA Amateur Qualifier.
England’s Laurie Canter issued a warning to his South African contemporaries on Monday when he beat overnight leader Allan Versfeld in a play-off to win the 36-hole, stroke play qualifier at the Glacier SA Amateur.
Versfeld had signed for a 71 at the East London Golf Club on Monday to set a target of eight-under-par 138 for the late finishers, but Canter forced the qualifier into extra time with a four under 69.
The Englishman then drained a stunning 20-foot putt for birdie at the first extra hole to collect the coveted Proudfoot Trophy.
Joy was written all over his face, but Canter was quick to concede that the real tournament, the match play, would only start on Tuesday.
“It’s a real honour to win this trophy,” he said. “I’ve been in South Africa since the end of December but I really struggled to perform in the first couple of tournaments. Now it feels like the hard work is finally paying off.”
The rising Saltford star won several tournaments last season including the Midland Youth Championship, the War Memorial Trophy and the Saltford Salver. After a tie for fifth at the Tilleman Trophy, Canter was called up for England A Squad duty late last year.
“I’m struggling to read the grain here,” admitted Canter, who recently showed is hand with a tie for 12th at the Free State and Northern Cape Open.
“Over the last couple of holes in regular play I lipped out twice so I kind of felt the eighth hole owed me. But that 20-footer in the play-off felt like 50 feet. I’m still shocked that I holed it. Now it’s back to the drawing board for all of us; we are all starting with a clean slate.”
As Canter says, SA Amateur is all about match play, which starts in earnest on Tuesday and ends with a 36-hole final on Friday.
Versfeld, with his booming drives, remains a firm favourite for the national amateur championship.
Small in stature, but packing tremendous power, the 19-year-old from Country Club Johannesburg bears an uncanny similarity to South Africa’s top professionals, Tim Clark and Richard Sterne, off the tee.
He has won three times this season, winning the Mpumalanga U-23 Stroke Play, the Central Gauteng Closed and the Central Gauteng U-23 Stroke Play. He also finished seventh at the SA Stroke Play at Pearl Valley Golf Estates and will represent South Africa in a test against Scotland this month.
“I never expected to do so well at the SA Amateur,” he said. “I’m disappointed to have lost but this was just the qualifier and the real work starts on Tuesday.”
The leading pair finished two clear of Kwazulu-Natal’s Calvin Pearson, who finished a shot ahead of Jaco Grey ling from Heidelberg and Limpopo’s CJ du Plessis on five-under.
Defending champion Ryan Dreyer, who doubled up on 72s to tie for 15th at 142, was joined by current SA Stroke Play champion Dean O’Riley, who bettered his opening 75 by six shots in the second round.
Rory McIlroy taking inspiration from Tiger Woods ahead of Abu Dhabi Championship
The 32-year-old’s form since the Ryder Cup has given him “renewed optimism, excitement and anticipation”.
Collin Morikawa using Bahamas setback as motivation to become world number one
The two-time major winner squandered a five-shot lead on the final day at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas last month.
Bryson DeChambeau: I don’t want to be a super-controversial figure
The big-hitting American was given some useful advice by Hollywood star Chris Pratt.
Webb Simpson eyeing Ryder Cup return after winless 2021
The American tees it up this week at the Sony Open, an event where he has a fine record.
Cameron Smith secures record-breaking wire-to-wire victory in Hawaii
The Australian made history at Kapalua with his winning total.
Viktor Hovland happy to be reunited with lost golf clubs in Hawaii
Viktor Hovland was able to breathe a sigh of relief after being reunited with his golf clubs six days after losing them in transit.
Phil Mickelson confirmed for Tournament of Champions after 21-year absence
Phil Mickelson has confirmed his participation in next month’s Sentry Tournament of Champions on the PGA Tour.
Tiger Woods ‘worn out’ after second-placed finish with son at PNC Championship
Team Woods finished two shots behind John Daly and his son John Daly II in Orlando.
Tiger Woods and son Charlie three shots back at PNC Championship in Orlando
The 15-time major winner was back in action after injury
Tiger’s back: All the best social as Tiger Woods returns to the golf course
The 15-time Major Champion played his first round of golf in public since his car accident in February.