Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Amateur Scene -

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.

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