Bruch­hausen finds his feet – at Clovelly

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - MIKE DE BRUYN

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.”

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