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Golf | SA

Laurie Canter © Gallo Images

Laurie blasts into Tshwane Open



Laurie Canter blasted his way through pre-qualifying for the Tshwane Open on Tuesday, carding a massive 11-under-par 61 at Irene Country Club to claim the first of 10 spots on offer.

“I’m most excited about getting through, but I really surprised myself by putting together a score that was so low. I’m thrilled that I could keep it going today,” he said.

The Englishman played his way through Sunshine Tour Qualifying School in January, but has battled to make it into the co-sanctioned events, whose large prize funds attract big names.

The Tshwane Open plays out over The Els Club Copperleaf and carries a €1,5-million prize fund, which has brought the likes of 2011 Open championDarren Clarke and Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

“My goal after Q-School was to make it into at least one of the events co-sanctioned with the European Tour,” said Canter. “I’m really excited for the chance to test myself against one of the best fields in world golf,” he said.

That field also includes Africa Open champion Darren Fichardt and last week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am champion Jaco van Zyl.

“I’ve been getting better every week,” said Van Zyl. “And I’m looking forward to the European Tour co-sanctioned event in Tshwane now that I’ve got the Di Data win behind me.”

Canter had not yet played the ‘highveld grassland’ style track at Copperleaf, but felt good about his chances after stringing together 11 birdies during pre-qualifying, four of which he made over the closing holes.

That’s not to mention that the 23-year-old stood head-and-shoulders above a field of 126, which is one of the biggest pre-qualifying fields the tour has seen outside of the South African Open Championship.

“To shoot that low and to score so often really gives you a sense of ease. I feel like I can go out onto any track and score well, because the game is there when I need it,” he said.

Thabo Maseko was the first South African to secure his place after shooting an impressive 63 at Irene’s parklands layout. The young gun finished eagle, birdie to reach nine-under for the day and take hold of sole second.

The Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School winner Torben Baumann came home in seven-under-par 65 for sole third. He was followed by fellow rookie Shaun Smith, who finished six below the card and shared fourth with Beyers Smith, Ian Hutchings and Bradford Vaughan.

Six players finished on five-under and entered a sudden-death playoff for the final three spots. Daniel Greene, Graham van der Merwe and Jacques van Tonder emerged on top and completed the Tshwane Open field.

SCORES (RSA unless otherwise specified):

61 - Laurie Canter (ENG)

63 - Thabo Maseko

65 - Torben Baumann (GER)

66 - Beyers Smith, Ian Hutchings, Shaun Smith, Bradford Vaughan

67 - Daniel Greene, Graham van der Merwe, Jacques van Tonder, CJ du Plessis, Alastair Forsyth (SCO), Chris Erasmus

68 - Johan Bekker, Des Terblanche, PG van Zyl, Morne Buys, JJ Senekal, Wynand Dingle, Jake Redman, Darryn Lloyd, Derik Ferreira, Duane Keun, Clifford Howes, Coenie Stoop, MJ Daffue, Tyrone Ryan

69 - Steven Ferreira, Jacques Kruyswijk, Louis Calitz, Brandon Detweiler (USA), Kevin Stone, Paul Bradshaw, JP van der Walt, Henk Alberts, Andrew Marshall (ENG), Johan du Buisson, Daniel Hammond, Heinrich Bruiners, Callie Swart, Irvin Mazibuko, Jeff Inglis (ENG), Nic Henning, Maritz Wessels, Dismas Indiza (KEN), Bennie van der Merwe

70 - Kyle Stevens, Drikus van der Walt, Attie Schwartzel, Ryan Thompson, Willie van der Merwe, Ryan Tipping, Coenie Bester, Joshua Cunliffe, Tyrone Mordt, Jean-Paul Strydom

71 - Neil Cheetham (ENG), Aron Zemmer (ITA), Pieter Moolman, Grant Veenstra, Gerhard Trytsman, Adrian Ford, Desne van den Bergh, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Makgetha Mazibuko, Anthony Michael, Bradley Sinnett, Jonathan Raphunga, Sipho Bujela

72 - Dean O'Riley, Juan Langeveld, Ryan Strauss, Blanche Lamprecht, Dayne Moore (ZAM), Omar Sandys, Steve Surry (ENG)

73 - Francois Haughton, Divan Gerber, Alpheus Kelapile, Thomas Lovett, Nelson Mudanyi (KEN), Francesco Laporta (ITA), Martin du Toit, Andre Cruse, Le Roux Ferreira, Michael du Toit, Warren Wiles, Ross Wellington, Alan McLean (SCO), TC Charamba (ZIM), Derick Petersen, Brett Liddle

74 - Andrew Odoh (NGA), Stuart Clark (WAL), Yubin Jung, Mikhail Tewary, Johan de Beer, Raymond Mathonsi (SWZ), Shaun Ellis

75 - Francois Coetzee, Kangwine Chiluba (ZAM), Bryan Martin (USA), Ben Mannix (ENG), Gert Myburgh

76 - Wandile Gininda, Langley Perrins, Mark Smith (MAW), Stefan Engell Andersen (KEN), Nico van Rensburg, Greg Bentley (ZIM), Ignatius Mketekete (ZIM), Ruan Huysamen (NAM), Glen de Waal (NAM), John Bele, Richard Porter (GER), David Riddle, Mark Murless

77 - Riekus Nortje

78 - Stuart Smith (BOT), Arthur Horne (SWZ), Mark Mahoney

79 - Roux Jeffery (NAM), Darren Plumb

80 - Stef Visage, Ben Fouchee, Brian Gondo (ZIM)

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