Bruchhausen finds his feet – at Clovelly
WESTERN PROVINCE Under-16 golfer Chris Bruchhausen carded two even-par rounds of 72 to win the Clovelly Open by two shots. He finished two shots clear of Jonathan Bernard and six ahead of pre-tour nament favourite Josh de Klerk.
This was the Reddam House Grade 11 schoolboy’s maiden Open title. The slightly built 16-year-old’s outstanding short game and accuracy in general play was a standout feature in both rounds.
His solid opening round of 72 placed him two shots behind first round leader Ian Gordon, the latter fading to sixth overall after an afternoon seven-over-par 79.
Bruchhausen’s second round was much the same as his first, but without any signs of nervousness to seal the first of many more wins to come. He improves his WP Order of Merit place to fourth and is seventh on the national rankings.
Pleasing from a WP viewpoint is three other players feature in the top 20 on the national Order of Merit. They are Josh de Klerk (fourth), Ben Thorne (eighth) and Gideon van der Vyver (20th).
Bruchhausen, who plays off scratch, was considered unlucky not to make the WP Under-18 team last year.
It will be much of the same if he doesn’t now crack the Under-23 team.
Defending WP Closed champion Greg Upton gives himself a slim chance to defend his title at Bellville tomorrow (Sunday).
“I haven’t swung much in the past month and a half, the 37-year-old said. “But it would be nice for an old dog like myself to come out on top against the younger set.
“I did play a round there last weekend and shot a 69 with six birdies. The course is in fine condition; the fairways are running good and the greens are slick, but trouble does lurk in the form of rough on the edges of the greens where the ball will nestle down.”
Upton has won a number of big tournaments during the latter stages of his amateur career, such as the WP mid-amateur championships and the Natal equivalent.
Bellville’s Ludwig Schreuder, who won the Bellville Open last year, is a big danger on his home course.
The 36-year-old is quietly optimistic about his chances but would prefer to fly under the radar.
“Obviously local knowledge counts in my favour,” he said. “But there are some really good players in the field with better than even chances such as (Greg) Upton and Werner Theart.
“Key to a good round here is your short game. The course isn’t very tight or long, but your approach shots to the greens need to be accurate to score make birdies and score low.”