Thursday, March 01, 2012


On-form Brian Soutar, of Leven Golf Society, will tomorrow bid to follow quickly in the spike marks of countryman Michael Stewart after reaching the final of the 2012 Sanlam South African Amateur Championship following two remarkable wins earlier today.
The 27-year-old Fifer drew on all his experience and battling qualities to claim impressive quarter-final and semi-final scalps, setting up a final 36-hole duel with South Africa’s No 1 Brandon Stone at Mowbray Golf Club, Cape Town.
Soutar is now bidding to emulate Stewart, the Walker Cup hero now in the professional ranks, who was the first ever Scot to win the title last year.
Soutar was one down to Louis Taylor on the 18th hole of their quarter-final but the gritty Scotland international took advantage of a poor tee-shot from the South African to reach the 18th in two and square the match. It took him another two holes to clinch his semi-final spot.
Further drama followed in Soutar’s semi-final against Southern Cape’s Shaun Smith, a player who won his last-eight tie 8 and 6. The Scot was two down with five to play but produced another late rally to win the 14th, 15th and 18th holes – after Smith had claimed the 16th – to take the match to extra holes. Soutar again held his nerve, this time prevailing at the 19th.
The Scot holed an excellent putt from 25 foot to square the match at the 18th before Smith was plugged in a bunker at the first extra hole. Soutar had two putts for par and won the match.
Having fought his way through a quality, international field after 36 holes of stroke play qualifying and five match play rounds, Soutar is now out to deny South Africa’s leading amateurs a home title for a third year running.
Not since Ryan Dreyer beat Adrian Ford in the 36-hole final at Benoni Country Club in 2009 has a local golfer lifted the country’s most prestigious amateur title.
Two years ago, Englishman Laurie Canter secured the coveted silverware with victory over Allen Versfeld at East London Golf Club, and last year the final of the country’s oldest amateur tournament was contested between two Scots, with Stewart (Troon Welbeck) defeating Kirkhill’s Paul Shields at Vaal de Grace.
Soutar, a member of the Fife side who won a first-ever Moneygate Scottish Area Team Championship crown last year, could now etch his name on a trophy that includes South African greats Ernie Els and Retief Goosen and claim a place in the European Tour’s South African Open Championship in November.
National Coach Ian Rae said: “The golf Brian has played has been absolutely tremendous, especially fighting back in both games today.
“To win the 18th in both matches and then win after extra holes is absolutely awesome, a tremendous performance from Brian.
“This is a big event and Brandon (Stone) will want to win his national title. He is a very good player and Brian faces a tough game. But Brian is a very good player as well and there is no reason why he can’t win.”
Soutar can draw inspiration from the fact team-mate Scott Crichton (Aberdour) defeated Stone three times in the SGU's Test Match success over the host nation last month. But Stone has shown his own battling qualities, winning at the 19th in both his quarter-final and semi-final.
The South African Amateur Championship is part of an eight-week winter performance programme for the SGU National Men’s Squad. The programme is supported by Aberdeen Asset Management and South African businessman Johann Rupert.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google