WESTERN CAPE, S. Africa (Feb. 25, 2014) -- George amateur Jovan Rebula was so inspired by his uncle Ernie Els’s performance in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship that it carried him to a one-stroke victory in the 36-hole qualifying tournament for the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship at Hermanus Golf Club on Monday.
Rebula led the qualifying for the country’s top amateur tournament when he followed up his first round 70 with a second round of 66 to top the leaderboard on eight under par and claim the Poudfoot Trophy.
It was just enough to beat his good friend, Ross Sinclair, who took second place on seven under par and who held the clubhouse lead for most of the day after his 68.
Teeing off at the 10th, Rebula birdied the last two holes to get the edge on his friend.
“Ross and I are really good friends and I congratulated him on a great round this morning. But at the back of my mind I was thinking let’s try and give it a chase and that’s exactly what happened. I just had to stay patient. I was very patient the last two days and fortunately on the last two holes both putts dropped and I’m very, very happy about that,” said Rebula.
The 16-year-old is relishing the prospect of now taking on the main match play tournament.
“Watching Ernie at the tournament in America, I was really happy that he did so well. And just watching how the professionals do it gets you in the right mindset for the main competition and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
But Sinclair is equally confident of his chances. “I’ve had a great two days now. I’ve played some great golf, probably the best of my life so I’m very happy,” he said.
“I stuck to my gameplan the whole way round. Even when I was tempted to pull out the driver, I stuck to my three-iron off the tee and it gave me great birdie and par opportunities so it kept me going low.”
Overnight leader Daniel Young of Scotland added a 73 to tie for third place overall on five under with South African number one Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who signed for an impressive 68.
The top 64 players qualified for the main match play competition, which starts on Tuesday.