• Becomes the fourth Scot in six years to win the tournament
• He defeated Dylan Naidoo 3&1 in the final at George GC
CRAIG ROSS | SCOTTISH GOLF
Craig Ross has become the fourth Scottish golfer in six years to clinch the Sanlam South African Amateur title after seeing off Dylan Naidoo 3&1 at George Golf Club.
The 23-year-old, who earlier in the week had finished second to fellow Scot Rory Franssen in the 36-hole strokeplay qualifier, fought back after losing three holes in succession to Naidoo from the 25th to 27th holes to win the coveted title.
The Kirkhill man follows in the footsteps of Craigie Hill’s Daniel Young, who tasted success in the tournament last year, while Michael Stewart (2011) and Brian Soutar (2012) are the other recent Scottish winners.
"It feels amazing," said Ross. "I've had so much support from back home, and from Scottish Golf and Aberdeen Asset Management over the past couple of years. It's great to win this trophy and follow in Daniel Young's footsteps last year and bring it home again."
After finishing one shot behind Franssen (below) in the strokeplay event on 11-under-par, Ross took down James Pennington 2&1 before seeing off Fezekile Kana 3&2 in the round of 32.
— Spencer Henderson (@SpencerHGolf) March 4, 2016
An inspired comeback against Open Championship qualifier from Gailes Links last year Paul Kinnear – where he won the final two holes to win 1UP – saw him through to the quarter-finals, and that was where he confidently beat Matt Saulez 5&3 to progress further.
Marco Steyn was Ross’ victim in the semi-finals, with the Scot winning 2&1, and he was never behind after the fourth hole against Naidoo in the final – although it did get very nervy in the closing stages with his South African opponent getting back to 1DN with just three holes to play.
However, he bounced back immediately to win the 34th hole and rounded off an impressive week’s work by sealing victory with a birdie on the penultimate hole to win 3&1.
Two years ago, Ross outshone the professionals to win the PGA EuroPro Tour’s Glenfarclas Open at Mar Hall, but his amateur status meant he was unable to collect the £10,000 winner’s cheque, while he triumphed over an international field to win the prestigious Chiberta Grand Prix at Biarritz last year.
Craig Ross :: SA Amateur winner
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