Dainfern’s Cameron Moralee will start the weekend at the 2016 BMW SA Open proudly hosted by City of Ekurhuleni alongside some impressive names after finishing inside the top 10 at Glendower Golf Club on Friday. The 17-year-old Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation (EEFF) member Cameron Moralee opened with a three under 69 and added a 71 in the second round to finished alongside two-time Major winner Retief Goosen and four-time Sunshine Tour champion Dean Burmester at four under 140. Moralee offset three bogeys with half-a-dozen gains to complete the suspended first round this morning and reversed the damage of three drops with four birdies in round two.
He called his debut in the South African Golf Association’s flagship event ‘an unbelievably amazing experience’, saying: ‘I really hoped to make this kind of start and now that I’ve done it, I’m absolutely stoked to have the chance to win the Freddie Tait Cup as the leading amateur. So many of our top professionals have their name on the trophy, like Ernie Els, Hennie Otto, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and more recently, Dylan Frittelli and Brandon Stone. It would be such an incredibly honour to add my name to the list. It took me a few holes to get used to the speed of the greens and I kept it in play pretty well, but I did miss a few fairways on both days. I’m pleased that I could limit the damage and hopefully I can build on that over the next two rounds.’
Moralee already has one hand on the prestigious trophy, because the rest of the nine-strong amateur contingent are likely to miss the halfway cut, which is hovering around two over. Central Gauteng’s David Meyers shot rounds of 71 and 78 to finish on five over, while current number one ranked amateur Tristen Strydom from Ekurhuleni (78-72) is six over alongside Herman Loubser from Boland (74-76). Gauteng North’s Albert Venter returned rounds of 74 and 79 to sit at nine over, reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion Daniel Young finished at 11 over with rounds of 79 and 76 and Southern Cape’s Jade Buitendag carded rounds of 74 and 82 to finish at 12 over.
Gauteng North’s Teaghan opened with a 75 and is four over with four to play, while Andre Nel from Southern Cape is also 11 over with 14 holes to play. Moralee is not the only player with ties to the tournament host Ernie Els to star at the weekend. Former EEFF member Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who joined the pro ranks last year, vaulted to five under with rounds of 70 and 69. Former Freddie Tait Cup winner Branden Grace, another EEFF graduate, burst from the blocks with a four birdies from the second and a pair of gains after the turn to grab share of pole position at eight under with second round pacesetter Keith Horne, but his run was interrupted when play was called off due to the threat of lightning.
Five-time champion Els, however, is also fighting for survival. The four-time Major champion is three over with eight holes to play.
Photo credit: Catherine Kotze / SASPA