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25th August 2023

Top teams rise to foursomes challenge in Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship

PRETORIA (25 August 2023) – It was a partnership that was formed at a European Challenge Tour event in Italy, but when Brandon Stone agreed to be JJ Senekal’s teammate for this week’s Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship, it came with a proviso.

“Brandon warned me in Italy already that his wife’s birthday was on the Wednesday before the first round of this week’s tournament, so he may not be in showroom condition,” joked Senekal.

And yet they’ve both been in showroom condition as the duo share the lead on 11 under par with the team of Ryan van Velzen and Luca Filippi.

On a windy day and faced with the far more tricky format of foursomes, both teams rose to the challenge to earn themselves a one-stroke lead over the field.

Senekal and Stone, who have built up a strong friendship on the Challenge Tour this season, combined with a foursomes score of 67.

“We’ve built up a good friendship on the Challenge Tour and it’s nice to use that in this format,” said Senekal.

It’s this synergy that Stone feels has also been good for their golf this week.

“If you can surround yourself with a bunch of guys you enjoy and with personalities that you can get along with, it makes it that much easier on tour. I think we did well together these past few days. I never felt we were out of play at any time during the foursomes round which is a credit to how JJ and I played. On the first day of betterball it felt like we left a few birdies out there, but today we played really good golf. If I keep doing my job and JJ does his, we’ll be looking good come Sunday afternoon,” said Stone.

Alongside them, Filippi and Van Velzen combined equally well as they signed for a 68.

“We both played solid golf and we had 18 birdie putts today, which is quite good especially in foursomes where it can be hard to get into a rhythm,” said Van Velzen.

Saturday’s format is another round of foursomes which Filippi says they’re more than ready for. “We’re looking forward to it. The quality always comes to the top in foursomes. We’ll just stick to the same gameplan.”

Just one shot behind the leaders are the teams of Clancy Waugh and Hunter Epson, Louis Albertse and Hennie O’Kennedy, and Jean Hugo and Ruan Korb.

But no matter the format, Stone is quite clear as to what the weekend represents and his focus.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a team event or individual event. It’s still the weekend of a golf tournament.” – Michael Vlismas