Nienaber keeps command at Kingswood

Wilco Nienaber_CropGEORGE, 6 July 2016 – Mother Nature made life tough for the juniors competing in the Nomads SA Boys U-17 Championship in George, but Free State golfer Wilco Nienaber hung tough to preserve his overnight lead in Tuesday’s second round at Kingswood Golf Estate.

The 16-year-old Bloemfontein golfer followed an opening 69 with a 71 to finish one shot clear of Daniel Cronje from Boland at four-under-par 140.

With the mercury hovering around nine 10 degrees and a stiff north-easterly wind terrorizing the field, Nienaber began the day with a one shot advantage over Cronje and Southern Cape local Martin Vorster.

He mixed four birdies and three bogeys to reach the turn at four under. Cronje, meanwhile, bogeyed the first, but began closing the gap on Nienaber with birdies at seven and nine. When the Free State junior dropped another shot at the 10th, and Cronje catapulted to the top spot at four under with his third gain at the par four 11th.

Nienaber dropped two shots back with a bogey at 14, but Cronje also faltered and a bogey at the par four 15th cut his lead to just one shot. Knowing he needed a strong finish to remain in command, Nienaber reeled in back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 and closed with successive pars for his 71.

Cronje followed the drop at 15 with a trio of pars for a 71 and sole second on three under.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Chris Woollam moved into third at one under with a 71.

Reigning Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play champion Deon Germishuys, Bradley de Beer from Southern Cape and last week’s Dimension Data Junior Open winner Christo Lamprecht tied for fourth at one over after posting respective rounds of 71, 73 and 74.

140 Wilco Nienaber 69 71
141 Daniel Cronje 70 71
143 Chris Woollam 72 71
145 Deon Germishuys 74 71; Bradley de Beer 72 73; Christo Lamprecht 71 74
146 Sebastian Terblanche 71 75
147 Jayden Schaper 73 74
148 Martin Vorster 70 78
149 Marcus Taylor 75 74; Jethro Newton 72 77
150 Werner Deyzel 78 72; Ben van Wyk 73 77; Antoine Sale 72 78; Hendrik Naude 72 78; Keanu Pestana 71 79
151 Christopher Long 76 75; Tristan Galant 73 78
152 Ge-Rico Muller 75 77; Joshua Edwards 75 77; Barend Botha 71 81

PHOTO – Wilco Nienaber; credit SAGA.