Africa win is my best yet
Ross reigns supreme in Sandlam Amateur Open for his biggest achievement to date
Cambuslang golfer Craig Ross described winning the Sanlam South African Amateur Championship as the biggest achievement of his career so far.
The 23- year- old Kirkhill member beat South Africa’s Dylan Naidoo 3& 1 in a low scoring 36-hole final at George Golf Club last Friday.
He became the fourth Scot in the last six years to get his hands on the trophy, following in the footsteps of former champions, Daniel Young, Brian Soutar and Michael Stewart.
Over 35 holes in the final, Ross was an impressive 13 under par, including an eight under-par effort for 17 holes in round two, while teenager Naidoo was 11 under, overall.
Ross, who qualified for the knockout phase as second seed, held a two-hole lead at lunch after making birdie on the last three holes. Ross’s advantage had increased to four after 22 holes, before his opponent began a spirited comeback.
Naidoo won three holes from the 25th to cut the deficit to just one, but Ross, who was five under par in his semifinal victory over Marco Steyn, refused to buckle, and won the 29th before a stunning eagle two at the par-four 30th.
Ross closed the match out with a birdie at the 35th and was six under par for his last seven holes.
Soon after touching down on Scottish soil for the first time in six weeks, Ross spoke exclusively to the Reformer about his superb accomplishment.
He said: “It was great to win it. I had been playing great all week.
“I felt comfortable and didn’t drop too many shots.
“I really liked the course. It was a bit different to what we had been playing on the trip.
“The greens were a bit firmer and we were near the coast, so the ball didn’t fly as far.
“I would say it was the biggest win so far. I won on the EuroPro tour a couple of years ago but I’m pleased to win such a prestigious trophy.
“I’ve also been invited to the SA Open next year and I think I’ll get to play along with the likes of Andy Sullivan, Scott Jamieson and Branden Grace.
“It’s great to win this trophy and follow in Daniel Young’s footsteps from last year and bring it back home again.”
Ross shot to prominence in 2014 when he won the Glenfarclas title on the EuroPro Tour, which is one step below the Challenge Tour.
He also made his debut for Scotland in the Home Internationals, winning fiveand-a-half points from six at Southerndown in South Wales.
“For now I’ll be playing the rest of the amateur season back home and try and get into the top 50 in the world,” Ross added.
“I’m aiming to go to tour school at the end of the year and get my card,
“I’ve had so much support from back home I had time to celebrate with the guys in South Africa before flying home. I’m now spending time with the family because I’ve been away for such a long time.”
Champ Cambuslang man Craig Ross in South Africa