JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (March 14, 2012) -- Balmore’s Fraser McKenna and Paul Shields of Kirkhill will fly the flag for the SGU in the quarter-finals of tomorrow’s South African Northern Amateur Open at Randpark, Johannesburg.
Shields, the runner-up in the South African Amateur Championship to compatriot Michael Stewart a year ago, and McKenna both face tricky last-eight ties tomorrow. Should they be victorious, they will meet in the semi-finals, which are also played tomorrow.
Shields progressed after a one-hole victory against Pedrie Oosthuizen, before also dispatching Otto Van Greunen 3&2 in the last-16.
McKenna, meanwhile, who fired a brilliant fourth round 67 in stroke play qualifying to only just make the match play stages, continued his form with a 4&3 win over Victor Lange and then a 3&2 triumph against Michael Loppnow.
The Men’s National Squad players now face two of South Africa’s finest talents in the quarter-finals, with McKenna meeting No 1 ranked Brandon Stone and Shields facing Shaun Smith.
Smith showed his class this morning by seeing off Lundin’s James White 5&4 to end the hopes of the 2011 SGU Men’s Order of Merit winner.
Aberdour’s Scott Crichton kept up his form on the winter performance trip by destroying Jacques Kruyswijk 7&6 but lost his last-16 tie 2&1 to Sipho Bujela.
National coach Ian Rae, with the players in South Africa, feels McKenna and Shields both have a chance of emulating David Law, who won the Northern Amateur Open 12 months ago.
Rae said: "Paul played really well, as did Fraser. Fraser had five birdies in a row during his morning round and is playing lovely.
"I think they have a great chance of winning the event, they are both playing well. They both have tough matches tomorrow, as their opponents are both great players, but there is no reason why they can't win."
The SGU programme in South Africa is supported by Aberdeen Asset Management, South African businessman Johann Rupert and the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation.
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