Scot James Wilson reaches South African Amateur final in Johannesburg

Balmore's James Wilson is one win away from becoming the fifth Scottish to be crowned as South African Amateur champion in 10 years.

Balmore's James Wilson is through to the 36-hole title decider in the South African Amateur Championship at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club. Picture: Ernest Blignault
Balmore's James Wilson is through to the 36-hole title decider in the South African Amateur Championship at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club. Picture: Ernest Blignault

The 23-year-old booked his place in tomorrow's 36-hole title decider at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club after securing two brilliant victories as the Golf RSA event got down down the business end today.

Wilson, winner of the 2018 Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship, won with an eagle-3 at the 19th against rising South African star Christiaan Maas in his last-eight clash in the morning.

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He then set up a 3&2 afternoon success over England's Jake Bolton, the reigning Scottish Open champion, by bursting out the blocks with another eagle at the first and then adding three birdies in the next five holes.

Wilson's opponent in the final is Casey Jarvis, who is bidding to complete a dream double after becoming the youngest-ever winner of the South African Stroke Play Championship last week.

The in-form 16-year-old prevailed by 2&1 in an epic quarter-final clash with fellow South African Christo Lamprecht jnr before making it a double disappointment for England in the last four with victory by the same margin over Joseph Long.

"It's been a long week," said Wilson of having played seven rounds in five days straight off the back of another four rounds in the South African Stroke Play Championship. "But a big sleep tonight and I will be ready to go again tomorrow."

Reducing the par-5 opening hole to a driver and wedge both times, he holed a 35-footer for his match-winning eagle against Maas before rolling in a 10-footer against Bolton, who was left reeling.

"I got off to a really hot start, chipping in at three and five, which was a bit cheeky," admitted Wilson of laying the foundations to be five up after six and, in the process,allowing him to withstand a fightback from Bolton.

On facing Jarvis, he added: "He's obviously been playing great. But what he is doing is irrelevant to me. It is going to be good fun and I am looking forward to it."

Michael Stewart sparked Scotland's winning spree in this event in 2011, with subsequent victories having been recorded by Brian Soutar (2012), Daniel Young (2015) and Craig Ross (2016).

"This course requires all parts of your game to be on and the greens are pretty tricky," said Wilson. "Luckily for me, we managed to get a few games here before going to Leopard Creek for the African Amateur Championship to get a feel for this course."