Day of upsets for SA golfer

AUCKLAND - Nicol van Wyk, the 24-year-old Durbanville Golf Club and Western Province amateur golfer, won both his quarterfinal and semifinal matches yesterday to reach the final of the New Zealand Amateur Championship.

AUCKLAND - Nicol van Wyk, the 24-year-old Durbanville Golf Club and Western Province amateur golfer, won both his quarterfinal and semifinal matches yesterday to reach the final of the New Zealand Amateur Championship.

The championship is being played at the Titirangi Golf Club in Auckland.

"Today has been unbelievable," said the ecstatic South African in a telephonic interview after his semifinal match.

It proved to be a memorable day for Van Wyk. First in his quarterfinal match in the morning, he managed to beat - for the second time in the last four weeks - Dean O'Riley, South Africa's top ranked amateur.

The two South Africans endured a closely fought match and finished all square after 18 holes. On the 19th hole, Van Wyk drove the green and two putted for a birdie.

O'Riley could only manage a par and consequently lost the match.

This setup what was expected to be a very tough semifinal for Van Wyk against Scott Arnold, the world's top ranked amateur, who beat Australian Peter Spearman-Burn in his quarterfinal match. But the underdog prevailed again.

Van Wyk's opponent in the final, over 36 holes, is another Australian, Matt Jager. - Sapa

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