Galgorm Castle’s Joshua Hill fired a three-under par round of 69 to hit the front at the South African Amateur Strokeplay Championship in Mount Edgecombe Country Club and Estate.
Hill traded four birdies with one dropped shot to move to seven-under par through two rounds and one stroke clear of Irish international teammate Matthew McClean.
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“I played nicely,” said Hill. “There was a bit of drizzle all day which meant the course played a bit longer but it played lovely.
“I putted really well, played smart to the middle of the greens and didn’t really go for anything. I holed a couple of putts early on and played safe after that with the tucked away pins.”
After struggling last week at the weather-disrupted African Am at Leopard Creek, Hill was delighted to bounce back so quickly having found something during the third round last week; albeit a round that was ultimately abandoned.
“Definitely, especially after last week,” he said. “I didn’t have the best of weeks at Leopard Creek but I played decent in the third round that got cancelled and just brought it with me into this week. I started off well so hopefully I can keep that going into tomorrow.”
With Hill leading at seven-under par, Malone’s McClean sits just one shot off the pace after carding three birdies in a bogey-free 69 of his own, with Frenchman Martin Couvra third at minus-four.
Royal Dublin’s Hugh Foley is next best of the Irish in a tie for 10th after adding a 73 to his opening 70 to remain in the red at one-under.
Rob Brazill of Naas dropped to a tie for 18th at one-over after a disappointing 76 on Tuesday. That’s the same score as Douglas’ Peter O’Keeffe who returned an improved one-under 71 in round two.
Royal Dublin’s Richard Knightly and Castle’s Rob Moran are next best in a tie for 37th at four-over and were the only other Irish to make the halfway cut as Carton House’s Marc Boucher (+9) and Forrest Little’s Jack McDonnell (DQ) missed out on the final two rounds of action.
- Live scoring HERE