TRISTEN Strydom lived up to his billing as the country’s top-ranked amateur when he won the KwaZulu-Natal Open Strokeplay at Port Shepstone CC last weeken
The Serengeti Golf Club player produced rounds of 69, 65, 66 and 70 to win by five from Royal Cape’s Sean Bradley who finished with a 66.
Margate’s Jan McDermott, who finished further down the field, pretty much summed up what a lot of players felt after seeing the quality of the scoring.
“How’s that -18? I won’t leave my day job,” he quipped.
Jason Smith of Irene CC was third, seven shots adrift of Strydom, followed one shot further behind by Matthew Spacey of Dainfern CC.
Best of the KZN players was Siyanda Mwandla of Mount Edgecombe CC. He had rounds of 74, 70, 73 and 69 to claim a tie for 11th place.
His two clubmates, Luke Mayo and Aneurin Gounden, were next best of the KZN players, finishing in 18th and 20th spots respectively.
Mwandla felt he had ‘played nicely’ and was fairly pleased with his results. He has been playing national events, but took a short break recently to fine-tune his game.
“I had been making cuts but not finishing anywhere, so decided to have a break and spend some time working with my coach Don Gammon,” he said.
He has also adjusted his approach to practising. “I’m not just hitting balls randomly on the range anymore, you know, without a purpose. Now I will put say 10 balls down and try and hit a specific target,” he said.
The results are starting to show. He came ninth at the recent Prince’s Grant Invitational, won by Andrew van der Knaap of Centurion Country Club, and then almost cracked the top 10 at Port Shepstone.
“The confidence is growing. I know there are people who believe in me, so I have been working hard,” he said.
Results of KZN players:
11 Siyanda Mwandla -2; 18 Luke Mayo +1; 20 Aneurin Gounden +3; 23 Corné van Deventer +4; 26 Louis Albertse +5, Ruben Coetzer +5; 30 Matt Saulez +6; 41 Gareth Atkinson +9, Walter Malevu +9, Malcolm Mitchell +9, Reece van Straaten +9; 48 Graham Dickinson +12, Clayton Mansfield +12; 53 Jan McDermott +14, Liam McIlroy +14; 61 Marc Bormann +17; 66 Samuel Gouma +20, Patrick Mavundla +20; 68 Jaques Swartz +21; 69 Steven du Plessis +27.
* The KZN Country Districts team heads to ERPM in Ekurhuleni soon for the SACD to be played from May 18 to 22.
Corné van Deventer captains the team which comprises Combrinck Smit, Steve Phytides, Shane Douglas, Marc Bormann, Sean Baker, Sipho Hlongwa and Walter Malevu.
Wynand de Swardt is the manager.
The team is currently in the B section and will be wanting to change that this year.
* Next up on the calendar is league on May 24. In premier league, Cotswold host Umhlali, Durban CC ‘2’ play their A team at Beachwood, Southern KZN travel to Mount Edgecombe, and Royal Durban host Toti.
Kloof have a bye.
Empangeni CC will host the Zululand Open on May 31.