Rupert Kaminski’s good form continued in the final round of the First Stage of Qualifying School where he shot a four-under-par 68 to qualify for the final stage top of his class on a total of 21-under-par.
Leading by three shots coming into the final round, Kaminski said he would go all out to try and post a decent score, as any sense of complacency could lead to disaster. He did just that, hitting massive drivers to try and get on the front foot in what would be a weather-affected final round where play had to be suspended for over two hours because of dangerous weather conditions. As a result, a massive number of players – most of whom were not going to make the top 30 nor were they going to share that spot First Stage – retired.
To start his round Kaminski made back-to-back pars and a birdie in his first three holes but those were quickly followed by a bogey. He bounced back on the seventh and eighth holes, making birdies there.
And those must have sparked something to get him firing hot again because he followed those up with a trio of birdies from the 10th through to the 12th. He kept things steady from there onwards, making five pars before a painful bogey got onto his card on the last hole.
“I got off to a bit of a slow start,” Rupert admits. “but I managed to find some momentum in the middle of the round. From there, I just kept it going but I was unfortunate to make a drop on the last hole. In all, I am very happy with the way I played this week.
“I wanted to get it to anything under par and try to get to 20. It was always going to be difficult to repeat yesterday’s score but I think I did well and 21-under-par is not bad.”
Qualifying behind Kaminski and with the course record of eight-under-par is Gerhard Pepler who finished on a total of 16-under-par.
“This was the best round I’ve ever played in my life.” said Pepler, “I just went out there with no expectations. I just wanted to enjoy the golf. I started well and just kept going from thereon. There was no pressure for me because I was far from the lead and far from the cut, so I just went out to enjoy it.”
Pepler started like a house on fire, birdieing his first four holes and made further gains on the seventh and eighth holes to go six-under and blemish-free on the front nine. Coming home, Pepler made his birdies on the 12th and 14th holes to sign for a perfect 64.
“My chipping and putting game was solid today,” said Pepler of what worked for him. “A round like this gives you confidence and I am now definitely looking forward to next week at Houghton”
Players qualifying for final stage are Rupert Kaminski, Gerhard Pepler, Morne Buys, Luke Brown, Vaughn van Deventer, Rigardt Albertse, Landon Michelson, Gregory Mckay, Basil Wright, Richie O’Donovan, Andrew Williamson, Cameron Moralee, Gaelen Trew, Paul Colditz, Luke Trocado, Brandon Gildenhuys, Ben Firth, Graeme Fransman, Carlo Heunis, Michael Kok, Christopher Van der Merwe, Gordon Neale, Danie Van Niekerk, Matthew Cooper, Kaleb Gorbahn, Stephan Erasmus, CJ Levey, Bradley Diggeden, Nicholaus Frade Roux Jeffery, Bryce Bibby, Caylum Boon and Ruan Groenewald.