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Schaper shows he belongs in Johannesburg

Schaper shows he belongs in Johannesburg

Amateur Jayden Trey Schaper enjoyed a truly special day at the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg as he matched playing partner and Major Champion Louis Oosthuizen with a 65 in round one.

Jayden Trey Schaper

The 18-year-old made a big impression at the season opening Alfred Dunhill Championship when he made the cut and sat inside the top 20 after 54 holes on his European Tour debut.

He was put in a marquee all South African group with 2010 Champion Golfer of the Year Ooshuizen and European Tour winner Christiaan Bezuidenhout for the first two rounds at Randpark Golf Club this week and he certainly lived up to the billing.

Playing the Bushwillow Course, he made an eagle on the par four fifth to go with six birdies and two bogeys, matching Oosthuizen's bogey free effort and Bezuidenhout's level par 71.

"I wasn't as nervous as thought I would be," he said. "With two guys that I look up to so much.

Louis and Christiaan

"Louis being one of the guys that I've always looked up to watching on TV, that Open. I didn't ever think I would get the opportunity to play with him in a tournament, it just makes it so special.

"Christiaan is a guy I practise with and also such a nice guy - to be drawn with them on day one of my first SA Open just adds to the unreal experience that this is.

"It makes you want to play better but nerves are there, you don't want to seem like an amateur playing with two guys who are seasoned out there - they know what they're doing.

"Being out there with them is tough but it just adds to the experience.

"Everyone has a chance. Golf's a funny game and I'm just going to be out there enjoying it and trying to keep to exactly what I've done today."

Defending champion Ooshuizen could have been forgiven for being frustrated after seeing several good chances not drop on the back nine but he was pleased with a six under start.

"It was decent," he said. "I played nicely, drove it nicely.

"At the end there I had quite a few putts that shaved the edges and didn't get the lines right but I'm rolling it nicely."

On Schaper, he added: "Jayden Schaper is a great player and he was playing unreal today.

"He’s a good solid player and I love his ball flight and the shape off the tee with the little cut. A lot of kids these days want to hit the high draw.

"He’s got a lot of talent and we’ll definitely see his name up there in the future."

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