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Altin Van Der Merwe

Altin Van Der Merwe

Winner of the inaugural Africa Amateur Championship in February, beating fellow South Africans Christiaan Maas and Ivan Verster with a birdie four at the first play-off hole at Leopard Creek, having almost snatched the title with a closing eagle after standing on the final tee one behind his two compatriots.  

Winner of the inaugural Africa Amateur Championship in February, beating fellow South Africans Christiaan Maas and Ivan Verster with a birdie four at the first play-off hole at Leopard Creek, having almost snatched the title with a closing eagle after standing on the final tee one behind his two compatriots.  

“It’s awesome,” the 27-year-old said. “I can't describe the feeling - it means everything to me. I can't wait to play in The Open. I'm going to be licking my chops out there with just a little sting two-iron all day.”

Runner-up in the South African Amateur Championship a decade ago – Thriston Lawrence was the winner and the pair will be reunited in Scotland – he also came second in last season’s Scottish stroke play championship and tied for 10th in the English stroke play before ending the year by becoming the only amateur to survive the halfway cut in the Investec South African Open.

That earned him the Freddie Tait Cup and a week before the Africa Amateur, he collected more silverware at the GolfRSA International Amateur.

That was in another play-off and he triumphed even more dramatically in that one, holing a bunker shot to defeat Dutchman Jack Ingham.

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