28 July 2014 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Zander Lombard, Paul Boshoff and Tristen Strydom will fly the flag for South Africa on both sides of the Atlantic this week.
The South African Golf Association’s top ranked pair will compete in the 112th Western Amateur in Chicago, while Boshoff and Strydom will hunt success in Belgium.
On Saturday, Ekurhuleni’s Bezuidenhout claimed a share of 24th in the prestigious Porter Cup, while Lombard from Gauteng North tied for 38th.
Bezuidenhout carded rounds of 72, 74, 67 and 68 to finish on one-over-par 281 and Lombard finished on five over with rounds of 71, 75, 72 and 67.
Tied at six over 146 and well outside the top 60, things were not looking too great for the local pair at the Niagara Falls Country Club near Lewiston.
Bezuidenhout had dropped 11 shots through 36 holes, while Lombard suffered two bogeys and a triple bogey in each round.
Bezuidenhout had just one bogey in the third round, though, and the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member reeled in four birdies to negate a lone drop in the final round.
Lombard also dropped just a single shot in the final round.
“We both struggled over the first two rounds, but we were able to improve as we grew more familiar with the layout,” said Bezuidenhout. “We did much better over the last two rounds. The Porter Cup had a very strong field, and is great to know that we can compete against the best.”
Bezuidenhout and Lombard will complete their warm-up for next month’s US Amateur Championship at the Beverley Country Club in Chicago this week.
“Playing against the world’s top amateurs at unfamiliar courses here in the United States is challenging and stressful, but it is also very rewarding when you can turn it around as we during the championship,” said the TuksGolf Academy member.
“We are both learning a lot from this experience. We want to build on this in Chicago, so we can really compete when we get to the US Amateur.”
Meanwhile Boshoff and Strydom are gearing up for their third start in Europe this month.
The Ekurhuleni juniors will compete in the Belgian International Amateur Golf Championship, which tees off at Royal Antwerp on Wednesday.
The reigning Nomads SA Boys Under-19 champions began their campaign at the PonCat Dutch Junior Open at the GolfClub Toxandria in the Netherlands.
Boshoff carded rounds of 72, 75, 69 and 73 to tie for 25th on four over 288, while Strydom finished joint 34th at 11 over 295 after rounds of 78, 73, 68 and 76.
The Ekurhuleni juniors then travelled to Hamburg where they competed in the German International Amateur. Strydom made it to the weekend after posting rounds of 72 and 73 at the Golf Club Hamburg Wendlohe. The 17-year-old added a 73 in the third round and fired a final round 68 for a share of 35th on two-under-par 286.
Next week, the teenagers will return to Germany where they will join fellow South African juniors Altin van der Merwe and Jovan Rebula in Germany at the RB German Junior at Golfclub Heddesheim in Gut Neuzenhof from 5-7 August.