HARTEBEESPOORT, 23 October 2014 – Gauteng North’s Mellette Hendrikse finishes within striking distance of first round leader Johan Marais when the A-Division completed the first round of the weather-struck Indwe Risk Services South African Senior Amateur Stroke Play Championship this morning.
Marais from Southern Cape opened with five-under-par 67 at Pecanwood Country Club, but inclement weather in the late afternoon forced organisers to suspend play for the day.
Former champion Hendrikse trailed by one at the time of the suspension and completed the 18th hole this morning to sign for a four under 68.
Fellow Gauteng North senior Chris Delport closed with a 69 to finish one stroke clear of Western Province’s Brian Mampies and Robin Ashby of Gauteng North.
Compiled by Lali Stander
HARTEBEESPOORT, 20 October 2014 – Jock Wellington is targeting a return to his winning ways in the Indwe Risk Services South African Senior Amateur Stroke Play Championship next week.
The three-time champion believes his game is solid enough to challenge at Pecanwood Golf and Country Estate, but Wellington is doubtful that it will hold up against hot favourite, Mellette Hendrikse.
Mellette won five times this season, came second three times and racked up eight top 10 finishes.
He tops the rankings and is odds on the hot favourite, especially after the North West Senior Open victory a week ago.
“Pecanwood has some great bunkering, but the long hitters will just bomb it away because the fairways are so wide,” said Wellington.
“The shorter hitters like myself will have to rely on accuracy and a solid short game and hope the slopey greens will level things out. Mellette has been putting really well and that makes him someone to look out for.”
Defending champion Gavin van Aswegen, who has been nursing a torn calf muscle back to health, agreed.
“I’m excited to take up my title defence, but I’m going in with low expectations,” he said.
“If you ask me to pick a winner right now, I’ll go with Mellette and it’s not just about this season. He went to Fancourt as the defending champion, but the weather forced a 36-hole result.
“I was leading Mellette by one going into the final round and I imagine he must have felt hard done by.”
The man of the moment is forthright about his intentions at the superbly manicured Jack Nicklaus layout.
“I’m confident and I want to win this year,” the 54-year old Gauteng North golfer said.
There is no point in being bashful about it. I’m hitting the ball well and I’m putting well.
“I think a solid short game will be crucial. The course is pretty wide, but the greens are undulating. You need to know where you are going off the tee and you need to pick your spots to score.”
Hendrikse might be the odds on favourite, but he believes a number of golfers could do well.
“It’s a compliment to be tipped to win, but there are a lot of strong seniors in the field this year,” he said
Francois le Roux from Province was in contention last year and will be hunting his first win.
Basil Naidoo and Morgan Philips from KwaZulu-Natal cannot be discounted and neither can the experienced pair of Lawrence Franklin and Jock Wellington.
David Konzani from Eastern Province, Schalk Nadue and Ramon Rahme have all had solid seasons, too. Two-time winner this season, Dirk van der Merwe, Adrian Kriel, Tony Bailey, Lynton Beckett, Steve Cullen and former Senior chairman, Tim Hewan, are also among the other 2014 champions lining up in the senior amateur circuit’s flagship from 22-24 October.
“We have a very strong field competing in the A-Division this year and it promises to be a very exciting championship,” said Peter Olyott, Managing Director at Indwe.
“We are delighted to provide this national platform for our country’s leading seniors. The high level of competition that exists on the senior and super senior circuits is remarkable and this year’s championship promises to once again deliver a feast of high quality golf.” concludes Olyott.
Compiled by Lali Stander
MIDDELBURG (17 October 2014) – Pieter Cooper and Louis Jonck gave Gauteng North manager Eddie Roux two reasons to cry for joy when the pair boxed the crucial putts that sealed the side’s B-Section promotion in the South African Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial at Middelburg Country Club on Friday.
“We held a 2.5 – 1.5 lead over Mpumalanga after the Foursomes, but they came back at us in the Singles and the match went right down to the last putt,” said Roux.
Phillip Croukamp and Gustav Verster took Gauteng North’s tally to 4.5 with early wins, but Mpumalanga attacked and won three quick Singles in succession to close the gap.
Teddy Mathebula defeated Martin Kraft 5&4, Philip Heyns won 1-up and Steve Smit triumphed 3&2.
After Kelso Hannay went 2-down to Jasper van der Westhuizen, Roux sent a message to Jonck and Cooper that it was time to step up and deliver.
“Louis beat Eddie Daniel 2-up to square the match,” Roux said.
“Pieter hooked his drive into a bunker, but he fired a miraculous trap shot to 10 feet and knocked in the putt to beat Jaco Buitendag 1-up and seal it for us.
“My heart nearly stopped a few times, but this was without a doubt the most amazing week of my golf career. Every man on the team played with pride for their province and for each other.
“These players showed incredible depth of character to fight back every time they got knocked down. They showed great courage under fire and I am incredibly proud of what they achieved.”
Gauteng North won the prestigious team championship at Irene Country Club in 2009, but was bumped back to the B-Section just 12 months later in Worcester.
“It has been a long and hard battle to get back into the A-Section,” Roux said.
“Now that we’ve finally done it, I can promise you, they won’t get rid of us in a hurry.
The gracious captain and his charges spared a thought for the host union, who led the standings going into the final round and looked set to take a home victory.
“We have to applaud the Mpumalanga team’s fighting spirit,” Roux said.
“We are celebrating, but we know what a tough break it is for our opponents. They fought with great determination and spirit and must be hurting right now. We salute them as fantastic opponents.”
Gauteng North 6.5 vs Mpumalanga 5.5
Free State 8.5 vs Border 3.5
Boland 8 vs Southern Cape 4
Final B-Section Log
1 Gauteng North (6, 5, 1, 0, 11, 47.0)
2 Mpumalanga (6, 5, 0, 1, 10, 44.5)
3 Free State (6, 4, 0, 2, 8, 38.5)
4 Boland (6, 3, 0, 3, 6, 39.5)
5 Southern Cape (6, 2, 1, 3, 5, 34.5)
6 Border (6, 1, 0, 5, 2, 27.5)
7 Limpopo (6, 0, 0, 6, 0, 20.5)
Compiled by Lali Stander
The Write Word Sports Media Consultants