Friday, March 04, 2016

 Craig Ross becomes South Africa's fourth 

Scottish champion in last six years


Scotland’s love affair with the Sanlam South African men's amateur  championship has continued today when Kirkhill’s Craig Ross claimed the title at George Golf Club.
The Lanarkshire player becomes the fourth Scot in the last six years to win the crown, after defeating up-and-coming home player Dylan Naidoo by 3 and 1 in a high quality, low scoring 36-hole final.
Ross follows last year’s champion, Craigie Hill’s Daniel Young, Brian Soutar (2012) and Michael Stewart (2011) as recent Scottish winners of the prestigious event.
Over 35 holes, Ross was an impressive 13 under par, including an eight under par effort for 17 holes in round two, while teenager Naidoo, who is bound for the University of Arkansas later this year,  was 11 under.
Ross, coached by David Orr, has achieved his biggest win in the amateur ranks, and builds on his victory among the professionals when he won at PGA EuroPro Tour event at Mar Hall in 2014.
The 23-year-old, who qualified for the knock-out phase as second seed behind compatriot Rory Franssen from Inverness, held a two-hole lead at lunch after making birdie on the last three holes. The Scot’s lead had increased to four after 22 holes, before his South African opponent began a spirited comeback.
Naidoo won three holes from the 25th to cut the deficit to just one hole, but Ross – who was five under par in his semi-final victory over Marco Steyn – refused to buckle, and won the 29th before a stunning eagle 2 at the par-4 30th.
The Scotland international player closed the match out with a birdie at the 35th and was six under par for his last seven holes.



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