Van Velzen turns up the heat at Waterkloof

Nov 9, 2020 | Featured

Teen sensation Ryan Van Velzen expertly tore up the Waterkloof Golf Club layout on Monday, powering to an opening 10-under-par 62 round of the IGT Tour Chase To#11 Waterkloof and leads by two shots as things stand.

The 19-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad member’s fine form continued this week and he wasted no time in getting down to business in the capital city on Monday. A birdie and an eagle on the first and second holes, respectively, marked a perfect start for the eighth-ranked amateur in the country. His progress was threatened, immediately, because of the bogey he made on the par-four fourth but a consistent performer at a high level among his peers and already accustomed to competing at this level of the game, Van Velzen bounced back from that drop with birdies on the fifth and seventh holes to turn in 32.

“My dad has been helping me a lot with the way to think around the course,” says Van Velzen of the matured manner in which he handles himself on the golf course.

A birdie after the turn was followed by another on the 12th before three more made it onto his card on the 14th, 15th and 16th. He picked up an important par on the 17th before closing off with another birdie to make it six-under and bogey-free on the homeward stretch.

“I was just trying to birdie every hole out there, the greens are rolling so good,” he said after his round. “I’ve always enjoyed Waterkloof, it’s a very scoreable course.”

Van Velzen is two shots clear of the second-placed duo of Jonathan Waschefort and Henning Du Plooy who both signed for 64s in round one. Waschefort said he had his putter to thank for his near-perfect eight-under-par round.

“By far the best part of my round today was putting.” he said. “It felt like I couldn’t miss anything today, so that was definitely what kept the round going.

“I think the most important shot I hit today was the 7-iron through the trees on the left side on the seventh hole which ended up 12-feet from the hole and managed to have a good line on the putt to make it for eagle. I had a really tricky putt for par on the 12th hole after I hit it in the greenside bunker for two and short-sighted myself. So, that par-putt really helped with the momentum for the finishing stretch.”

Signing for a bogey-free six-under 66 and tied for fourth with Leon Vorster, Heinrich Bruiners will feel he has every opportunity in the 36 holes left in this tournament to unseat Van Velzen – who is four shots clear – from the summit of the leaderboard.

A solid 67 for amateur Christiaan Burke saw him occupy sixth while Portugal’s Carlos Laranja, Nikhil Gopal, Vaughn Van Deventer, Harry Konig, Michael Kok and Carlo Heunis share the seventh spot at four-under-par 68.

By Matthews Mfubu

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