Youthful exuberance trumped experience as Southern Cape junior Martin Vorster outplayed some of South Africa’s top ranked juniors to take the first round lead in the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play Championship at Bloemfontein Golf Club on Monday.
Although South Africa’s number one ranked junior Ross Sinclair from Gauteng North laid a solid foundation for his bid for the Stroke Play title with a flawless 68, the reigning Match Play champion came up well short of the 14-year-old pacesetter.
Vorster – a member of Major champion Louis Oosthuizen’s Academy – mixed an eagle at the par five fifth with half-a-dozen birdies to offset a lone bogey at the 12th.
He set the early clubhouse target at seven-under-par 65 and his lead remained unchallenged until the end of play.
The Pinnacle Point golfer will start the second round three strokes clear of Sinclair and five shots ahead of a six-way tie at two under that includes reigning Nomads SA Boys U-15 champion Jayden Schaper from Ekurhuleni, Southern Cape junior Franklin Manchest and Deon Germishuys from Western Province, as well as Central Gauteng pair Emilio Pera and Reece Haikney and Slade Pickering from North West.
Francois van Staden from Mpumalanga, Free State’s Ge-Rico Muller and Eric Nel from Gauteng North also finished in red numbers to close out the top 10 at one-under-par 71.
FIRST ROUND SCORES (TOP 20)
65 Martin Vorster
68 Ross Sinclair
70 Franklin Manchest; Deon Germishuys; Emilio Pera; Jayden Schaper; Reece Haikney; Slade Pickering
71 Francois van Staden; Ge-Rico Muller; Eric Brett Nel
72 Dan Copeman; Kyle De Beer; Gianni Pera; Luke Mayo; Otto van Buynder; Dawid Opperman; Luca Filippi
73 Karabo Mokoena; Christo Lamprecht; Wilco Nienaber; Sentanio Minnie