Amateur Jayden Schaper one shot off South African Open lead

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Amateur Jayden Schaper one shot off South African Open lead

Euro Tour

Amateur Jayden Schaper one shot off South African Open lead

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The last man who won a European Tour event as an amateur is now the reigning British Open champion. If Jayden Trey Schaper, an 18-year-old from South Africa, continues the pace he’s on in the South African Open, he could have a legitimate shot at joining Shane Lowry in that prestigious group.

After 36 holes at the Firethorn Course at Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg for the European Tour’s South African Open, Schaper is 10 under and one off the lead. He’s part of a five-man tie for second, and all are trailing Tapio Pulkkanen at 11 under.

South African Open: Leaderboard

An amateur hasn’t won this particular event since 1959, even though Lowry was the last amateur to win on this tour, at the Irish Open, in 2009.

Schaper played the first two rounds alongside 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen. On Friday, he made five bogeys on the back nine on his way to a 4-under 67. He had opened with a 65 that included an eagle on the par-4 fifth hole.

“Just special to be up near the top of the leaderboard,” Schaper said. “Playing out there with Louis, one of my idols, and Christiaan (Bezuidenhout) today made it so much more special.”

When asked how he plans to handle his nerves over the weekend, Schaper had a ready answer.

“The way I see is it’s the same golf course. … I’m just going to keep the same as any amateur event that I’ve played,” he said. “Obviously there will be a bit of nerves, but I kind of enjoy them and I kind of feed off of it so I’m just looking forward to starting the weekend.”

Schaper competed in junior and amateur events around the world in 2019, most notably winning the Junior Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass on Sept. 1. He also was a member of the International team at the Junior Presidents Cup last month.

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