Craig Ross reaches SA Amateur final

Craig Ross
Craig Ross
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Kirkhill’s Craig Ross is through to Friday’s 36-hole final in the Sanlam South African Amateur Championship at George Golf Club.

The 23-year-old beat two home hopefuls, Matt Saulez and Marco Steyn, today to give himself the chance to become the fourth Scot to win this event in six years.

Standing between Ross and a place on the trophy alongside Michael Stewart (2011), Brian Soutar (2012) and Daniel Young (2015) is Steyn’s Modderfontein clubmate, Dylan Naidoo.

If successful in the title showdown, it will be Ross’s biggest success since he outshone the professionals to win on the PGA EuroPro Tour at Mar Hall in 2014.

He was five-under-par for 17 holes in beating Steyn in the semi-finals, sealing his 2&1 success with a birdie-2.

Earlier, Ross carded an eagle and three birdies as he triumphed 5&3 over Durban Country Club player Saulez.

Ross qualified for the knock-out phase as second seed behind compatriot Rory Franssen and has maintained that form over the past three days.

“I played really steady today and didn’t give much away,” said Ross. “Now I’m really looking forward to tomorrow as I’m playing really well and hitting it just as good and putting as good as I did when I won the PGA EuroPro Tour event.

“I really want to win this event to have a good end to the South African trip and a good start to the season.”

Naidoo, who played in the Joburg Open earlier in the year, booked his place in the final with a last-green win over Swiss player Loris Schuepbach.

“It will be a tough match tomorrow against Dylan, one of South Africa’s up and coming young players,” acknowledged Scottish Golf coach Spencer Henderson, who is accomanying Ross and his compatriots on the trip. “But I believe Craig’s consistency will see him through.”

He added: “Craig played very solid golf today and was particularly strong off the tee. The greens are getting firmer and his high ball flight is a real advantage with some tricky pins out there.”