Vive le Bleu for SA Stroke Play champion Catherine

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GEORGE, 10 February 2017 – The prestigious South African Stroke Play Championship trophy is back in French hands after Edgar Catherine triumphed at Kingswood Golf Estate on Friday.

Just two years after France celebrated their first champion in the premier international amateur championship, the 18-year-old from the South of France overcame his ‘Kingswood demons’ to march to a two stroke victory on 11 under 269.

Catherine also became the third successive international winner when he followed last year’s champion Jack Hume from Ireland into the winner’s circle.

In 2015, Ugo Coussaud showed some real French flair to hold off South Africa’s Rupert Kaminski in the final round at Port Elizabeth Golf Club and it wasn’t much different for Catherine.

The Golf d’Aix en Province golfer travelled to Kingswood in 2013 as a member of the French team that competed in the Ten Nations Cup. At the end of a tough week, the 14-year-old finished stone last in the field of 36 players.

One certainly appreciate his apprehension at facing to the links-style Garden Route layout in this year’s championship, however, he produced rounds of 66, 68 and 65 at the par-70 layout to start the final round just one shot shy of Robin Dawson, who was eyeing an Irish double.

Catherine gained the upper-hand early on after Dawson surrendered four shots at the fourth, fifth and sixth holes, but he also stumbled with back-to-back bogeys at seven and eight. The Frenchman birdied the 10th to get his challenge back on track and opened up a two shot lead on Dawson with another superb birdie at 14.

At the par five 16th, he missed the green left, but produced a magnificent chip shot out of the valley to leave himself a two-footer for birdie.

Catherine had one hand on the trophy with a three shot lead and two holes to play, but he pulled his tee shot left at 17 and had to play a blind second shot into the green. The pin was set right at the back and his approach finished on the front. He tried to close the distance, but left his first putt well short and his par putt sailed past the hole.

The three-putt bogey gave Dawson a glimmer of hope, but Catherine drove the middle of the green at 18 and two-putted for the two shot win.

Catherine closed with an even-par 70, and Dawson has to settle for second at nine under after a 73.

Dan Brown from England closed with a 65 and Frenchman Frédéric LaCroix fired a 65 to tie for third on 272, with South Africa’s Brandon Cloete a further two strokes adrift in joint fifth after a final round 71. Cloete shared fifth with Scotland’s Liam Johnston, who signed for a 69.

“I was a little nervous playing the last few holes,” said Catherine. “I know that it looks like I had control all day, but it was really tough. I hit 12 fairways, so the driver worked well and my iron play was good also, but the putter wasn’t working.

“I missed a lot of chances, but at least I made the ones that counted. I really fought as hard as I could and left everything on the golf course. I played as well as I could have. Lifting this trophy means a lot to me. I lost my fear of Kingswood in the first round and I played well this week. I’m just over the moon to win this championship.”

Catherine’s victory continues the foreign dominance of South Africa’s premier amateur events over the past few years.

Craig Ross became the fourth Scot in six years to lift the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship title at George Golf Club last year, but Catherine believes a French double is not out of the question when the flagship event tees off at Humewood Golf Club at the end of the month.

“Humewood is also a links course, so this week was really good preparation for Port Elizabeth and perhaps me or one of the other players on the national squad will make it a double celebration for France,” he said.

Final Result

269 Edgar Catherine FRA 66 68 65 70

271 Robin Dawson IRL 68 65 65 73

272 Dan Brown GBR 70 67 67 68; Frédéric LaCroix FRA 68 68 71 65

274 Brandon Cloete 67 66 70 71; Liam Johnston SCO 66 72 67 69

276 Craig Howie SCO 70 71 70 65; Oliver Gillberg SWE 67 65 71 73

277 Malcolm Mitchell 73 68 69 67; Andre Nel 67 69 67 74

278 Pierre Pineau FRA 69 67 71 71; Matt Saulez 68 73 69 68; Alex Gleeson IRL 67 71 70 70

279 Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 70 73 65 71; Craig Ross SCO 69 66 73 71; John Ross Galbraith IRL 67 66 70 76

280 Colin Fairweather IRL 73 70 68 69; Marco Steyn 72 70 68 70; Luke Jerling 69 71 70 70; Victor Veyret FRA 67 72 71 70

281 Kyle McClatchie 72 70 70 69; Quintin Wilsnach 71 71 68 71; Jason Smith 71 71 66 73; Stuart Grehan IRL 71 70 71 69; Marcus Svensson SWE 69 70 67 75; Martin Vorster 68 73 69 71

282 Robin Williams GBR 71 71 72 68; Deon Germishuys 68 74 69 71

283 Clayton Mansfield 71 69 71 72; Jayden Schaper 70 73 71 69; Marin Maeti FRA 69 74 67 73; Luca Filippi 69 71 69 74

284 Luke Mayo 74 70 72 68; Garrick Higgo 72 72 70 70; Gerlou Roux 69 73 72 70

285 Eric McIntosh SCO 75 69 71 70; Dehan Joubert 71 71 70 73; Nicholas Mitchell 70 71 72 72; Kevin Le Blanc IRL 70 70 74 71; Gregory Mckay 69 70 71 75

286 David Nyfjall SWE 73 70 70 73; Andre van Heerden (Jnr) 73 70 69 74; Keelan Africa 72 72 72 70; Slade Pickering 72 72 69 73; Johan Coetzer 72 68 70 76; David Mcintyre 71 73 70 72; Josh Hilleard GBR 71 71 70 74; Siyanda Mwandla 71 70 72 73; Jamie Stewart SCO 70 74 73 69

287 James Walker GBR 75 68 71 73; Pontus Nyholm SWE 71 72 76 68; Andrew Carlsson 71 68 73 75; Anthoine Auboin FRA 70 74 71 72; Viktor Hagborg – Asp SWE 70 70 73 74; Steven le Roux 69 74 71 73; Jeremy Freiburghaus SUI 68 73 68 78; Ludwig Aberg SWE 68 72 74 73

288 Colm Campbell IRL 73 70 71 74; Oscar Teiffel SWE 71 71 72 74; Keelan van Wyk 70 72 75 71

290 Ryan Beyers 71 73 76 70; Joseph Long GBR 68 76 71 75

291 Richard Joubert 70 72 73 76; Phillip Swanepoel 66 76 73 76

292 Jordan Burnand 71 72 73 76; Eric Wowor 69 75 75 73; Dylan Kok 69 74 72 77

293 Keegan Steyn 73 71 76 73

295 Louis Albertse 73 71 73 78

296 NJ van der Walt 70 71 75 80

298 Dimitri Mary FRA 75 69 77 77

299 Joshua Edwards 73 71 78 77

300 Carlo Heunis 73 71 79 77

PHOTO: Frenchman Edgar Catherine won the South African Stroke Play Championship by two strokes at Kingswood Golf Estate in George on Friday; credit Pieter Els.

For further information, please contact:

Geoff Taylor (SAGA Acting President) – geoff@saga.co.za

Bruce Younge (Golf RSA General Manager Golf Operations and Finance) – bruceyounge@golfrsa.co.za

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of Golf RSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.

Lali Stander

The Write Word Sports Media Consultants

TEL: +27 82 990 7150 / EMAIL: lalistander@gmail.com


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