Route 66 for Hill as Irish make bright start to SA Amateur

Ronan MacNamara

Josh Hill (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Galgorm Castle’s Joshua Hill continued his excellent form with a blistering 66 on day one of the South African Amateur Championship.

All six Irish are inside the top-23 after the opening round with the top-64 advancing to the match play stage after 36 holes of stroke play – a format that will be like second nature to them.

Hill was flawless in a superb opening effort that included four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 17th and he is just one shot off the pace on six-under lying in second place.

The Mullingar Scratch Cup winner was second to Martin Couvra in the South African Strokeplay four days ago and after a quiet front nine that consisted of eight pars and a birdie on 5 he exploded into life.

Birdies on 11 and 13 put him inside the top-10 this morning before a stunning finish of eagle, birdie catapulted him into second place and he looks set to advance to the match play stages.

Also off to good starts are Royal Dublin’s Hugh Foley and Douglas’ Peter O’Keeffe who are both in sixth on four-under.

North and South of Ireland champion Foley finished birdie, birdie to cap off a solid opener while O’Keeffe arrested a run of eight opening pars with four birdies on his way home.

Castle’s Robert Moran is in a share of 13th place on three-under after a 69 with Connacht Strokeplay winner Rob Brazill (Naas) a shot further back in 23rd place alongside Augusta bound Matthew McClean.

Scoring HERE


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