Ben Kinsley KOs top South African as Scots shine

ST ANDREWS teenager Ben Kinsley claimed pride of place as all six Scottish qualifiers progressed to the last 32 in the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship – a lucky event for Caledonian golfers in recent years.

Ben Kinsley. Picture: Contributed
Ben Kinsley. Picture: Contributed

Kinsley knocked out South Africa’s No1 ranked amateur, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, at Hermanus Golf Club in the Western Cape, where the Scottish teenager eventually prevailed at the second extra hole.

British Boys’ champion Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden) also progressed and now meets compatriot Connor Syme (Dumfries & County) in the second round this morning, when those still standing included Jamie Savage (Cawder), Daniel Young (Craigie Hill) and Scott Gibson (Southerness) as well.

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Bezuidenhout went into the match play event full of confidence after finishing the two rounds of qualifying tied third. But, after a fierce battle, Kinsley proved too strong on the day. Kinsley now plays Jason Viljoen after he claimed a comfortable 6 and 5 win over Andrew Carlsson.

In an event won twice by Scots in the last three years – Michael Stewart did the trick in 2011 then was succeeded by Brian Soutar – Ferguson beat Germany’s Michael Pfeifer 3 and 2 while Syme won 4 and 3 against home hope Henri van Waart.

Young, who finished third in the qualifying, was another 3 and 2 victor, against Philip Kruse; Savage beat Italian Philip Geerts 4 and 3; and Gibson won by two holes against Johan Germish.

Young now faces Eduard van den Berg; Savage is up against Allan Lones and Gibson has Albert Venter standing between him and the last 16.

Leading qualifier Jovan Rebula, Ernie Els’s nephew, safely negotiated his way through the first round, the 16-year-old from George Golf Club winning two up against Paul Boschoff.

Defending champion Thriston Lawrence, who struggled a little in qualifying, also managed to make it through round one unscathed, defeating Stellenbosch Golf Club’s Henri van der Walt 3 and 2.

But another leading contender to crash out in the first round was top English amateur Toby Tree. He was defeated 3 and 1 by Marco Steyn.

Elsewhere, it was a disappointing second day for the Scottish contingent in the Red Sea Little Venice Open in Egypt, where only Ross Cameron (74) and Kris Nicol (72) survived the cut on two-under and one-under respectively.

Jordan McColl (72) and John Gallagher (75) both missed out by a shot while a hole-in-one for Ross Kellett in his 72 failed to prevent him from making an early exit, too, as Frenchman Thomas Elissalde carded a 67 to move to 12-under and open up a two-shot lead over Spain’s Borja Virto.