Dawson denied by steady Catherine in South Africa
 Edgar Catherine of France with the South African Amateur Open Stroke Play trophy

Edgar Catherine of France with the South African Amateur Open Stroke Play trophy

Robin Dawson confessed that a couple of early decisions proved expensive as he finished second behind Edgar Catherine of France in the South African Amateur Open Stroke Play near Johannesburg.

One ahead of the Frenchman overnight, the Maynooth University talent dropped four shots in a three-hole run from the fourth and carded a three over 73 as Catherine shot a 70 to win by two shots on 11 under par at Kingswood Golf Estate.

"I have mixed emotions about today, but it is still a nice start to the season," Dawson said. "I was happy to come back strong after a one or two decisions cost me on the fifth and sixth.

"On the fifth, I took the driver and went out of bounds by five feet. Then on the sixth, I missed the green left and failed to get up and down. I striped it after that."

Following Ugo Coussaud in 2015, Catherine is the second French winner in three years and the third international champion in a row, succeeding Jack Hume as champion.

The Golf d'Aix en Province golfer travelled to Kingswood as a 14-year old member of the French team that competed in the Ten Nations Cup in 2013 and finished dead last in the field of 36 players.

He was apprehensive about his return but produced rounds of 66, 68 and 65 at the par-70 layout to start the final round just one shot shy of Dawson, who was eyeing an Irish double.

Catherine gained the upper-hand early on after Dawson surrendered four shots by sandwiching a double bogey at the fifth between bogeys at the fourth and sixth holes.

Catherine also stumbled and after a bogey at the seventh, he also bogeyed the eighth, where Dawson made one of just two final round birdies to draw level again.

Dawson bogeyed the ninth, however, to trail by one with nine to play when Catherine birdied the 10th and 14th to go three clear, the Waterford Faithlegg man ran out of holes.

 Neil Manchi, Tony Goode and the rest of the Irish players watch Dawson in action over the final holes

Neil Manchi, Tony Goode and the rest of the Irish players watch Dawson in action over the final holes

Both birdied the 16th but while Catherine pulled his tee shot left at 17th and three-putted for bogey to see his lead cut to two shots, he safely two-putted the 18th for an even-par 70 and a two-shot win.

Dan Brown from England closed with a 65 and Frenchman Frédéric LaCroix fired a 65 to tie for third on 272, with South Africa’s Brandon Cloete a further two strokes adrift in joint fifth after a final round 71. 

Cloete shared fifth with Scotland’s Liam Johnston, who signed for a 69.

“I was a little nervous playing the last few holes,” said Catherine. “I know that it looks like I had control all day, but it was really tough. I hit 12 fairways, so the driver worked well, and my iron play was good also, but the putter wasn’t working.

“I missed a lot of chances, but at least I made the ones that counted. I really fought as hard as I could and left everything on the golf course. I played as well as I could have. Lifting this trophy means a lot to me. I lost my fear of Kingswood in the first round, and I played well this week. I’m just over the moon to win this championship.”

 Robin Dawson (centre) in action in South Africa

Robin Dawson (centre) in action in South Africa

Dawson will be disappointed with his finish, but it will stand to him, not just later this season, but when he tees it up with his Irish teammates at Oubaai Golf Club in the Cape Province Open from Tuesday next.

As for the rest of the Irish, Castle and UCD's Alex Gleeson (70) tied for 11th on two under 278 with John Ross Galbraith (76) a shot further back.

Knock's Colin Fairweather finished tied for 21st on level par 280 after a 69 with Stuart Grehan (69) a shot further back.

The Island and Maynooth University's Kevin Le Blanc (71) was 36th on four over with Colm Campbell tied 58th after a final round 74.

 Edgar Catherine

Edgar Catherine

South African Amateur Open Stroke Play, Kingswood Golf Estate (Par 70)

Detailed scores

269 Edgar Catherine FRA 66 68 65 70

271 Robin Dawson IRL 68 65 65 73

272 Dan Brown GBR 70 67 67 68; Frédéric LaCroix FRA 68 68 71 65

274 Brandon Cloete 67 66 70 71; Liam Johnston SCO 66 72 67 69

276 Craig Howie SCO 70 71 70 65; Oliver Gillberg SWE 67 65 71 73

277 Malcolm Mitchell 73 68 69 67; Andre Nel 67 69 67 74

278 Pierre Pineau FRA 69 67 71 71; Matt Saulez 68 73 69 68; Alex Gleeson IRL 67 71 70 70

279 Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 70 73 65 71; Craig Ross SCO 69 66 73 71; John Ross Galbraith IRL 67 66 70 76

280 Colin Fairweather IRL 73 70 68 69; Marco Steyn 72 70 68 70; Luke Jerling 69 71 70 70; Victor Veyret FRA 67 72 71 70

281 Kyle McClatchie 72 70 70 69; Quintin Wilsnach 71 71 68 71; Jason Smith 71 71 66 73; Stuart Grehan IRL 71 70 71 69; Marcus Svensson SWE 69 70 67 75; Martin Vorster 68 73 69 71

282 Robin Williams GBR 71 71 72 68; Deon Germishuys 68 74 69 71

283 Clayton Mansfield 71 69 71 72; Jayden Schaper 70 73 71 69; Marin Maeti FRA 69 74 67 73; Luca Filippi 69 71 69 74

284 Luke Mayo 74 70 72 68; Garrick Higgo 72 72 70 70; Gerlou Roux 69 73 72 70

285 Eric McIntosh SCO 75 69 71 70; Dehan Joubert 71 71 70 73; Nicholas Mitchell 70 71 72 72; Kevin Le Blanc IRL 70 70 74 71; Gregory Mckay 69 70 71 75

286 David Nyfjall SWE 73 70 70 73; Andre van Heerden (Jnr) 73 70 69 74; Keelan Africa 72 72 72 70; Slade Pickering 72 72 69 73; Johan Coetzer 72 68 70 76; David Mcintyre 71 73 70 72; Josh Hilleard GBR 71 71 70 74; Siyanda Mwandla 71 70 72 73; Jamie Stewart SCO 70 74 73 69

287 James Walker GBR 75 68 71 73; Pontus Nyholm SWE 71 72 76 68; Andrew Carlsson 71 68 73 75; Anthoine Auboin FRA 70 74 71 72; Viktor Hagborg - Asp SWE 70 70 73 74; Steven le Roux 69 74 71 73; Jeremy Freiburghaus SUI 68 73 68 78; Ludwig Aberg SWE 68 72 74 73

288 Colm Campbell IRL 73 70 71 74; Oscar Teiffel SWE 71 71 72 74; Keelan van Wyk 70 72 75 71

290 Ryan Beyers 71 73 76 70; Joseph Long GBR 68 76 71 75

291 Richard Joubert 70 72 73 76; Phillip Swanepoel 66 76 73 76

292 Jordan Burnand 71 72 73 76; Eric Wowor 69 75 75 73; Dylan Kok 69 74 72 77

293 Keegan Steyn 73 71 76 73

295 Louis Albertse 73 71 73 78

296 NJ van der Walt 70 71 75 80

298 Dimitri Mary FRA 75 69 77 77

299 Joshua Edwards 73 71 78 77

300 Carlo Heunis 73 71 79 77

Missed cut

151 Conor O’Rourke Naas 75 76