Golf: Paul Shields has SA crown in sights once again

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KIRKHILL’S Paul Shields, last year’s beaten finalist, is off to another encouraging start in the South African Amateur Championship at Mowbray Golf Club in Cape Town.

One of seven Scots competing in the event as part of a winter training trip to the Raindow Nation, Shields opened with a three-under-par 69 to sit in a share of seventh after the first of two stroke-play qualifying rounds.

The two-time Scottish Boys Championship finalist followed nine straight pars with an eagle-3 at the tenth and picked up another shot at the long 14th in a flawless effort.

With the leading 64 qualifying for the knock-out stage, Brian Soutar and Conor O’Neil are also inside the top 20 after matching 71s, one less than James White, with Danny Kay also inside the mark at the moment after a 74.

However, Scott Crichton (75) and Fraser McKenna (77) both need improved second-day performances if they want to have a prolonged interest in the event. Crichton, the man on form coming into this, dropped four shots in his last four holes.