DREYER IS NO 1 MID-AMATEUR
Ryan Dreyer became the fifth different player in the last five years to head the SA Mid-Amateur rankings, convincingly taking the title by more than 10 points from the incumbent No 1, Gerlou Roux.
Dreyer (Killarney), 44, a former SA Amateur champion, had three wins in seven Mid-Amateur outings during the year – Central Gauteng, Highveld and North West – and averaged 71.2 from 14 rounds. He was one of three Mid-Ams to represent Central Gauteng in the Premier IPT at Fish River – the others were Shaun Stapleton and David Muller.
Roux, turning 40 in early 2017, again claimed the SA Mid-Amateur title, with an impressive 72-hole score of 280 at Silver Lakes, from Stapleton and Dreyer, but that was his only victory, after having had six wins in 2015. He was remarkably consistent though, with seven top-5s in nine events, and a stroke average of 71.8.
The 40-year-old Stapleton (Wanderers) was the most improved performer and earned his SA colours on the end of year trip to India. He played in 11 of the 15 events, the most of any player on the rankings. His major success came outside the Mid-Am circuit when he won The Bobby Locke at Parkview in November, beating the country’s premier amateurs. His other victory was in the Free State Mid-Am, and he averaged 72.9.
The most impressive debut in the MidAm ranks came from 36-year-old Stefan Blommaert (Strand). He won twice (Boland and EP), rose to No 5 on the rankings, earned his SA Mid-Am colours in India, and was a member of the victorious WP team at the Mid-Am IPT.
The age limit for Mid-Ams was lowered from 35 to 30 in 2016, and two players under 35 finished in the top 10 of the rankings – No 7 Danie Viljoen (Silver Lakes), 32, who won the Gauteng North title at his home course, and No 9 Marcus Capuzzimati (CCJ), 31, who won the final event, Limpopo.
In a year which saw seven newcomers enter the Top 10 of the rankings, Josef Fourie (Hoopstad), 45, notably stayed in the top 10 for the fifth year in a row, and earned additional SA colours in India. His record is 3-8-2-3-4.
A combined eight-man SA Mid-Amateur and Senior team celebrated a crushing 11½-4½ victory in the historic inaugural test series against India at Royal Calcutta Golf Club. The Seniors won 7-1 over foursomes, betterball and singles, while the Mid-Ams won 4½-3½, after taking the singles 3-1. Back row, from left, Francois le Roux, Morgan Phillips, Gerlou Roux, Jock Wellington and Stefan Blommaert. Front row, Steve Williams, Shaun Stapleton, David Younge (manager) and Josef Fourie.
From left: Stapleton, Roux, Dreyer.