SA junior golfers make fast start at Pinehurst Resort

Nikhil Gopal and Deon Germishuys

South African junior golfers, Deon Germishuys and Nikhil Gopal, made an impressive start on day one of the prestigious Junior North and South at Pinehurst Resort last Monday.

The Bridge Fund Manager Junior Series finalists coped well with the hot and humid conditions in the opening round at Pinehurst Number 8.

Eighteen year-old Germishuys, from Strand, made the most of the sunny weather to post a three-under-par 69.

The reigning Sanlam SA amateur champion fired four birdies, but bogeyed the final hole to finish one shot behind the joint leaders, Holden Grigg and Trent Tipton.

“There was very little wind to speak of and that made it slightly easier to attack some of the pins,” he said.

“I started with three pars and made my first birdie at the fourth. I hit it straight down the middle and found my ball in a divot. I got it out and hit it to four metres and made the putt. At the fifth, a par three, I holed a five-metre putt for another birdie.

“I laid up after a good drive at the sixth and had 65 metres flag. I pitched it a foot from the hole and made it three birdies in a row. From there it was straight pars all the way to 17. I hit driver, six-iron on the green and two-putted for my fourth birdie.

“At the last hole, I wanted to hit my usual fade, but the ball stayed straight. I flew the water, but the ball pitched on the slope and rolled back into the water. It wasn’t the finish I hoped for, but I’m heading to the tough Number two course within a shot of leaders, so I’ll take it.”