Trio share SA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play lead

RobertGouws_GNGUTSHWANE, 3 May 2016 – South Africa’s top ranked Gerlou Roux made a great start in his title defence at the SA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play when he grabbed a share of the three-way tie in the first round at Silver Lakes Country Club on Tuesday.

The Bellville golfer shares pole position with Shaun Stapleton from Wanderers Golf Club and Robert Gouws from Akasia Country Club.

A year ago, Roux claimed a four stroke victory over fellow Western Province player Elton James in a wire-to-wire performance in KwaZulu-Natal.

He kicked off his campaign at Victoria Country Club with a five under par opening round and this year, the 39-year-old mixed four birdies with a brace of bogeys an opening four-under-par 68.

Westlake’s James lurks a shot behind the leaders, while local favourite Chase Manna shares fifth on two under 70 with Josef Fourie from the Hoopstad golfer and Cameron Johnston from Milnerton Golf Club.

Although Roux has not yet visited the winner’s circle this season, he has protected his number one ranking with a string of top five finishes, including a runner-up finish in the Highveld Mid-Amateur Open in April.

However, Stapleton could pose a huge threat as the tournament unfolds.

He won the Limpopo Mid-Amateur Open in December last year, and tied for sixth in the Central Gauteng Mid-Amateur Open. Although he didn’t fair too well in the mid-amateur Opens in the Ekurhuleni and Highveld Mid-Amateur Opens, a recent victory at the Free State Mid-Amateur Open could be an indication that the software designer’s game is on an upswing and could spell trouble for the defending champion.

68 Robert Gouws; Shaun Stapleton; Gerlou Roux
69 Elton James
70 Chase Manna; Josef Fourie; Cameron Johnston
71 Ryan Dreyer; Jan Delport; Kalvin Parsons; Sean Quigley
72 David Muller; Danie Viljoen
73 Gustav Verster; Bennie van Loggerenberg; Joe Mnyandu
74 Jean-Pierre Meyer; Neil Homann; Logan Lofstedt; Sean Olfsen; Andre du Bruyn; Jannie Bronkhorst; Neil Rathmann

PHOTO – Robert Gouws from Akasia Country Club; credit Ernest Blignault.