Venter making a charge at Sanlam Cape Province Open

Albert Venter 05_GNGUGEORGE, 25 February 2016 – It wasn’t half as spectacular as his blistering seven under 65 in the first round at Kingswood Golf Estate, but Herman Loubser still got the job done and protected his overnight lead in the Sanlam Cape Province Open Championship with a one-under-par 71 at George Golf Club on Wednesday.

The Boland junior tops the 36-hole leaderboard at eight under 136 and holds a slender one stroke lead over Hans-Jurie Human, Albert Venter, Michael Sherriff and Keegan Steyn.

Loubser bogeyed 11, but got into red numbers with a trio of birdies at 12, 13 and 14 and ended a run of eight straight pars on the back nine with a birdie finish at the par four ninth.

“It was a real test of patience,” said the reigning Nomads SA Boys U-17 champion.

“I’m not sure why I went left instead of right at 18 but I hit a poor tee shot and I was back to even par with a double bogey. The back nine was especially frustrating with the putter. I hit a lot of good putts that just missed.

“The greens were significantly slower than the greens at Kingswood and they had seen a lot of traffic, so I just tried to keep patient and made sure I didn’t give up any more shots.”

The De Villiers Graaff Golf Academy player admitted he was relieved to hole the birdie putt at nine to stay ahead of the chasing pack.

“It’s a small cushion, but it’s something to build on,” Loubser said.

“I’m looking forward to the final two rounds at Kingswood, because the course suits my game. I enjoy the challenge of the Links set-up and the greens are really great. My main goal today will be to get my game as sharp as possible for the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship next week, but it couldn’t hurt to start the qualifier this weekend with a victory under the belt.”

Meanwhile Steyn from Central Gauteng navigated the Sally Little signature course at Kingswood in 69 strokes, while Human from Oubaai rallied with a flawless seven under 65 at the traditional layout at George Golf Club to join the four-way tie in second.

Gauteng North’s Venter was on the charge again just two weeks after he staved off a large international pack to capture the inaugural African Amateur Stroke Play Championship title at Leopard Creek. The Centurion golfer matched Sherriff from Western Province with a 67 at George Golf Club to put himself in an attacking position for the last 36 holes.

136 Herman Loubser 65 71
137 Hans-Jurie Human 72 65; Albert Venter 70 67; Michael Sherriff 70 67; Keegan Steyn 68 69
138 Jason Rossiter 73 65; Jamie Bower ENG 71 67; Marco Steyn 70 68; Dylan Naidoo 69 69; David Mcintyre 68 70
139 Luke Trocado 70 69; Luke Jerling 70 69; Matt Saulez 69 70; Aubrey Beckley 69 70
140 Samarth Dwivedi IND 74 66; Alfie Plant ENG 72 68; Dylan Kok 72 68; Andre Nel 71 69; Luca Filippi 69 71
141 Jaco Coetzee 74 67; Darin de Smidt 72 69; Jason Smith 72 69; Robert Foley SUI 71 70; Karabo Mokoena 71 70; Michael Pfeifer 71 70; Noel Anderson 70 71; Michael Harradine SUI 68 73; Tristen Strydom 67 74

PHOTO – Albert Venter; credit Ernest Blignault