Yorkshire golf: Meltham GC's Jamie Bower through to last 16 of South African Amateur championship

Meltham GC member and Yorkshire champion Jamie Bower (Picture: Chris Stratford).
Meltham GC member and Yorkshire champion Jamie Bower (Picture: Chris Stratford).

YORKSHIRE champion Jamie Bower scored a comfortable 4&2 victory over South African teenager Emilio Pera to reach the last 16 of the Sanlam South African Amateur championship.

Bower went ahead at the first hole at George GC when his opponent stumbled to a bogey, but Pera pulled back to all square with a birdie at the third.

The Yorkshireman responded with a birdie of his own at seven to go back in front, and when Pera, of Eagle Canyon Golf Estate, ended the front nine as he had begun it - with a bogey - Bower led by two holes.

A second birdie of the day for the 22-year-old Meltham GC man gave him a three-up advantage and he closed the door on the youngster with another birdie at the 16th for his 4&2 triumph.

In the first round Bower had seen off Michael Harradine (Switzerland) 3&2 to reach the last 32.

Bower was one up heading for the turn then threw a glut of birdies at his opponent - five in the space of eight holes from the ninth - to close out the match on the 16th green.

Meltham GC member Bower had shot rounds of 71 and 68 at George GC to qualify for the match play stages.

Twenty-two-year-old Bower will be looking to go one stage further - and two wins further - than he did in last year's English Amateur championship when he lost in the semi-finals at Alwoodley GC in a sudden-death play-off.

His first qualifying round of one-under-par 71 included five birdies, but also a couple of bogeys and a double at the eighth.

Bower conceded only one shot to par in the second round, at the 10th. He was three under going out after birdies at holes one, four and nine, and came home in one under.

He made immediate amends for the bogey at 10 with a birdie at the next hole, and added another at 16.

Bower qualified in 12th place and will look to go deep into the knockout match play stage in the final event of six that he has played in South Africa as a member of England Golf men's squad.

He has won twice, in the Gauteng North Open and the Southern Cape Open, placed third in the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek, and tied 24th at Blue Valley Golf and Country Estate in the South African Amateur Stroke Play championship where he was under par in every round.

Four of Bower's Yorkshire team-mates will compete in the Spanish International Amateur at RCG Sevilla, starting on Wednesday and running through to Sunday.

They are Steve Robins (Hull), James Walker (The Oaks), Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick) and Daniel Brown (Bedale).

Yorkshire ladies team-mates Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall) and Olivia Winning (Rotherham) are competing in the Spanish Amateur championship, at Club de Golf Escorpion, in Valencia.

Two rounds of stroke play qualifying today and Thursday will be followed by five rounds of match play, with the final on Sunday.