Boshoff takes control at Gauteng North Open

SA U19 Boys Golf ChampionshipPRETORIA, 24 January 2015 – South Africa’s number one junior Paul Boshoff finished birdie-birdie at Pretoria Country Club to sit on top of the international pile at the end of the second round at the Gauteng North Open Stroke Play Championship on Saturday.

The 18-year-old Ekurhuleni golfer overcame a soft bogey on each nine with six birdies to register a four-under-par 68 for a one stroke lead on six under 138.

Overnight leader Theunie Bezuidenhout and current Gauteng North Silver Salver holder stayed in touch with a 72.

The Rustenburg golfer edged into second ahead of local favourite Teaghan Gauche and 2014 Scottish Boys Match Play and Stroke Play champion Ewen Ferguson, who posted respective rounds of 72 and 70.

Meanwhile Tristen Strydom from Ekurhuleni returned a 73 and slipped to joint fifth alongside Jovan Rebula from Southern Cape.

The country’s number two ranked amateur is well-known for his final round charges and Strydom could be dangerous at three off the pace, while 2014 Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation Player of Year Rebula could be another dark horse to watch on Sunday.

The George teenager notched four birdies on the back stretch for a 69 to vault to 141.

Gauteng North’s James du Preez eagled the par-five 18th for a 72 to get within striking distance at 142.

Reigning South African Stroke Play champion Jason Smith shaved three shots off an opening 73 and lurks five shots back alongside 2014 Amateur Champion semi-finalist Connor Syme from Scotland and Jarred Miltz from Wanderers.

Boshoff was pleased to get his first event of the season off a solid start, but he is well-aware of the pack in his rear-view mirror.

“On the junior circuit, we always start the season very early in January, so it was great this year to have a few weeks to practice and get the rust off,” he said.

“Nothing beats a good, solid start to the season. It kind of sets the tone for you, so I am really pleased to be in this position, especially with the SA Stroke Play coming up.

“I played really well, except for the fourth, where I hit a three and the par-putt I missed at the 13th. The swing was solid and my short game was good. And I limited the mistakes out there.

“The final round is going to be a humdinger, though, because there are a lot of really good players on my tail, including a couple of Scots.”

Boshoff plays out of Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate, but often practices at Pretoria Country Club.

“This is really challenging championship layout and very different to Serengeti and I like the contrast,” he said. “The course tests every shot in your bag, your accuracy and your short game.

“I’m definitely pleased to be in a strong position for the final round, but I have to say, I will be happy if a few more putts drop on Sunday.”


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PHOTO – Paul Boshoff; credit Rogan Ward.