James Sugrue lost his second round match in the South African Amateur Open this morning, losing out 4&2 to the top ranked home player. Although he face a tough challenge, Sugrue had played well enough in the opening three days to fancy his chances against the home favourite. Sugrue shot rounds of 68 and 73 over the weekend to finish in 15th place after the 36 hole qualifier. He went on to record a 2&1 win over Aymeric Laussot from France, thanks to a nice birdie on his final hole. Although faced with Nienaber who is 68th in the WAGR rankings, Sugrue would have fancied his chances. The South African played to his WAGR position however and was six under through 11 holes. Sugrue pulled a few shots back but when Nienaber birdied the 16th that was enough to close out a 4&2 win.
Ronan Mularney, Conor Purcell and Caolan Rafferty all made it through to the second round while Rob Brazill, Mark Power, Tiernan McLarnon and Alex Gleeson lost out in the round of 64. Play continues today and all nine of the Irish squad will remain in SOuth Africa to compete in the SA Strokeplay which commences next week. The travelling squad which includes John Carroll (Captain) and Neil Manchip (Coach) are combining both events into an extended winter coaching session.