O’Riley leads from the start

KEMPTON PARK, June 24 – Dean O’Riley finished eight-under-par to take his first professional win by one stroke at Kempton Park in the Sunshine Big Easy Tour’s event presented by Stonehage.

O’Riley had played the course before and he put his extra knowledge of the course to good use as he carded a round of 67 to go five shots under par today. “I knew how a lot of the greens played, and that made it easier,” he said.

He came out of the gates at full pace, and a birdie on the first hole gave him a morale boost as he made birdies on the next three holes to race to four-under-par through four holes.

The early burst placed the Benoni youngster seven-under-par and two shots in the lead on the front nine, considered the harder scoring half of the course.

The Ebotse Golf and Country Estate professional finished the round with just three further birdies, the greens running a little slowly and turning less than expected.

With cold and windy conditions seeing tee shots land off the fairway throughout the day, O’Riley managed to recover from his inevitable trips to the rough with great approaches to the greens. “The greens were really soft and receptive, so even chipping from the rough was easier,” he said.

Chosen to play in the SA Open as an amateur in both 2008 and 2010, O’Riley made just two bogeys in a round that led the day from the third hole.

Despite failing to capitalise on the 12th and 13th, both par fives and considered good scoring holes, a two-shot lead cushioned O’Riley’s bogey on the 18th and ensured he would remain the leader.

Having turned professional just last year, O’Riley is happy with his first win in the fifth tournament on the Big Easy Tour. “I’m very excited about taking first place,” he said.

For the second week running Dean Burmester took second, shooting the only round to match O’Riley’s and coming into the clubhouse at five-under-par at the close of the second and final day, closing the tournament at seven-under-par.

Brett Liddle tied for third at six-under-par despite having a pinched nerve in his back which gave him visible discomfort throughout the round.

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