Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport


Van Rooyen, Lamprecht blow good starts at Masters, Schwartzel up-and-down

The start of the 88th edition of the year's first Major was delayed because of bad weather in Georgia.


South Africa’s three participants in this week’s 88th Masters at Augusta National in Georgia — the year’s first golf Major — made decent starts, without threatening the leaders at the end of the opening round.

American LIV Tour player and 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau leads the way at 7-under-par after an opening 65 on Thursday.

The start of the tournament was delayed by more than two hours because of bad weather, meaning several players will have to complete their first rounds on Friday, as the second round is set to get underway.

SA players

Erik van Rooyen, who won his second PGA Tour title in Mexico towards the end of last year, was the first man off on Thursday and at one staged it looked as if he’d end the day among the leaders after moving to 4-under-par after 13 holes, with four birdies.

A poor finish though, with three bogeys in five holes, cost him dearly and he ended up with a 71, 1-under-par, and currently in a tie for 17th.

Former winner from 2011, Charl Schwartzel, who now plays on the LIV Tour, started poorly after a double bogey seven at the par-5 second hole, and it got worse with further bogeys at the seventh and 10th holes to be 4-over-par.

Birdies at 12, 13 and 14 got Schwartzel back to 1-over before another bogey at the par-3 16th left him at 2-over for his day, and in a tie for 54th place.

It is the same position 23-year-old 2.03m amateur Christo Lamprecht finds himself after also shooting an opening 74. But, he, too, could have registered a better score were it not for some poor shot-making at times.

Birdies at the second, sixth and eighth holes got Lamprecht’s name right up the leaderboard, before he slipped back with bogeys at the ninth, 10th and 11th holes. A birdie at the par-5 13th got him back on track, before disaster struck at the par-5 15th.

Lamprecht, who plays for Georgia Tech and is the world’s No 1 ranked amateur, walked off the hole with a triple bogey eight to go from 1-under-par to 2-over-par, where he’d end the day.

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