Van Buynder clinches Tshwane Junior Open

Otto_GNGUTSHWANE, 17 July 2015 – Otto van Buynder defeated fellow Gauteng North player Keegan McLachlan at the first play-off hole to lift the inaugural Tshwane Junior Open title on Friday.

The pair ended regulation play tied at four-over-par 148 after Van Buynder signed for a 78 and McLachlan carded a 77 at Pretoria Country Club.

Van Buynder produced a superb four at the par-four 10th to seal his first national junior victory in extra time.

“I am absolutely thrilled that I got the job done,” said the elated TuksSport Golf Academy player.

McLachlan reached 18with a two shot lead over Van Buynder in regulation play, but squandered the advantage with a double-bogey.

Van Buynder responded with a well-timed six-iron into the green at the par-five and two-putted for birdie to force the play-off.McLachlan split the 10th fairway and Van Buynder pushed his tee shot into the trees on the right.

“I thought it was all over, but I had a clean shot to the green, so I hit a lob-wedge over the trees and the ball finished about 25 feet from the pin,” Van Buynder said.

“Keegan overshot the green with his second. He chip up, but the ball rolled back down and he had to chip again. I lagged my first putt close and tapped in for par while he putted for bogey.

“After the bogey, triple-bogey start I couldn’t imagine that I would win, but I just kept grinding. It was quite tough out there, because it was bitterly cold and the wind was pumping.

“I kept my eye on the leaderboard through the round and I knew that I was keeping in touch. When we got to 18, I knew I had to make a birdie at the last. I am really pleased with the way I executed my plan for that hole to get into the play-off. Winning my first national title fighting like I did is awesome.”

Southern Cape’s Alex van Wyk carded a 73 to finish a further stroke back in joint third with Slade Pickering from North West, who closed with a 77.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Luke Mayo (74), Kyle Barker (74) from Central Gauteng, Werner Deyzel (77) from Gauteng North and Ekurhuleni’s Dylan Mostert (78) shared fifth on 150.

Van Buynder stole the show, but four other juniors were also given a reason to smile.

Mayo, Western Province’s Luca Filippi, reigning Nomads SA Boys U-17 champion Herman Loubser and Wilco Nienaber from Free State were named to represent the South African Golf Association at the 2015 Italian International Under-16 Championship and Nations Cup in Italy in September.

The South African quartet will compete in the eight edition of the prestigious 72-hole international stroke play championship, which will be played concurrently with the team event at Golf Club Biella from 1-3 September.

148 Otto van Buynder 70 78 (first play-off hole)
148 Keegan McLachlan 71 77
149 Alex van Wyk 76 73; Slade Pickering 72 77
150 Luke Mayo 76 74; Kyle Barker 76 74; Werner Deyzel 73 77; Dylan Mostert 72 78
151 Matt Saulez 77 74; Therion Nel 76 75

PHOTO – Tshwane Junior Open champion Otto von Buynder; credit SAGA.