De Lange point man for SA at Sanlam SA Amateur

SANLAM AMATURE GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPSPretoria Country Club golfer Keegan de Lange vaulted into a share of the lead at five-under-par at the completion of the rain-affected first round of the Sanlam South African Amateur Championship at Silver Lakes Golf Estate on Monday.

Lighting and thunder brought a premature close to play on Sunday, but after play resuming at 6.30am, the 18-year-old Gauteng North golfer finished off his round in fine fashion with two birdies and an eagle on the par five 18th.

De Lange began his round with three birdies on his opening nine, but bogeyed both par threes down the home straight. The drops were offset by his fast finish, though, and De Lange joined early pacesetters Greig Marchbank and Daniel Young from Scotland in pole position.

The 36-hole Stroke Play Qualifier for the Proudfoot Trophy will determine the top 64 players that advance to the Match Play championship.

De Lange, a Nomads National Order of Merit winner in 2013, had two close calls in 2014 and converted the runner up finishes with a three-shot victory in the season-opening Dr Bam Nomads National Order of Merit in January.

He was a member of the victorious six-man side that defeated France in a two-day Test at the end of January and added the Free State Open title to his tally in February.

The Scots dominated on Sunday, but as it turned out, the country’s third-ranked led a surge of South Africans up the leaderboard.

Southern Cape’s Tom Watson, Johan Germishuys from Boland, Central Gauteng’s Rupert Kaminski, Gareth Clements, David Meyers and Ryan Lane and former number one junior Kyle McClatchie from Ekurhuleni all finished a stroke behind the leaders.

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PHOTO – Keegan de Lange joined the title chase at the top in the first round of the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship at Silver Lakes Golf Club; credit Catherine Kotze.