Giant-killer Gauche takes Marchbank at Sanlam SA Amateur

SANLAM AMATURE GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPSTSHWANE (3 March 2015) – South Africa’s Teaghan Gauche defeated Proudfoot Trophy winner Greig Marchbank of Scotland 2&1 in the first round of the Match Play at the Sanlam South African Amateur Championship at Silver Lakes Golf Estate on Tuesday.

Both players were involved in a playoff on Monday.

Marchbank beat South Africa’s number one ranked Tristen Strydom to win the 36-hole stroke play qualifier, while Wingate Park’s Gauche had to birdie the first playoff hole to beat out five other players for the final 64th spot in the Match Play.

Gauche sprinted out of the blocks and was three up through four holes with a majestic eagle two at the par-four fourth hole.

“I just hit an amazing tee shot with my driver, which ended up three foot from the hole,” Gauche said.

“It’s always nice to make a two on a par four. Greig got off to a shaky start with some three-putts, but I was just playing solid, hitting a lot of greens in regulation.”

Coming down the stretch, Gauche was able to maintain the pressure and close out the match at the 17th to claim the biggest scalp on day one of the knockout format.

“It’s definitely a big confidence boost,” the TuksSport Golf Academy player said.

“I was confident coming into this week and it was a bit of a surprise getting into the Match Play in the 64th spot. Now I’m just looking forward to the rest of the week.”

Winning the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship title would be a fantastic achievement for the 22-year-old, whose career was very nearly derailed by a car accident in December 2013.

Gauche faced surgery and months of rehabilitation after he broke his C3 and C4 vertebrae, but began showing some great form toward the end of 2014.

He recently represented South Africa in the annual Leopard Trophy against Scotland, where he partnered former SA Stroke Play champion Jason Smith to victory in both Foursomes games and defeated Ben Kinsley 5&4 in the final round for South Africa’s only point in the Singles.

PHOTO – Teaghan Gauche; credit Catherine Kotze