Bezuidenhout lands GNGU Stroke Play
Rustenburg amateur Theunie Bezuidenhout put on a classy performance at Pretoria Country Club to close out victory in the weather-affected Gauteng North Open Stroke Play on Sunday.
Just three months after he defeated South Africa’s number two ranked Tristen Strydom in a sudden-death play-off for the prestigious PWC GNGU Silver Salver title, the 19-year-old North West golfer was in ascendancy again in his adopted province.
Bezuidenhout picked up where he left off with a five-under-par 67 to take the first round lead and kept in touch with a 72 to trail by one stroke from Paul Boshoff in the second round.
He surged to a five stroke lead with another superb 67 in the third round and still led by the same margin through 16 holes in the final round when play was suspended at 16h15 due to lightning storms.
Bezuidenhout sealed his second podium finish in Gauteng North when failing light forced the organisers to call a 54-hole result at 18h00.
The victory bodes well for the Bezuidenhout, who enrolled at the TuksSport Golf Academy early this year.
“I took a long break in December, but I worked very hard with Llewellyn van Leeuwen and Emile Steinmann since I started at TuksGolf this year,” Bezuidenhout.
“We’ve worked on my long and short games and I am really pleased to see the result reflect in my scores. I made some silly mistakes, but overall, I hit the ball really well off the tee and into the greens.”
Bezuidenhout won two local events in North West ahead of the Gauteng North Open Stroke Play and hopes to carry his winning form into his debut in the SA Stroke Play Championship at Port Elizabeth Golf Club in two weeks.
“It’s really nice to gain a bit of confidence ahead of the SA Stroke Play,” he said.
“I will be competing in the Eastern Province / Border Stroke Play at Port Elizabeth Golf Club this weekend. Hopefully I’ll get to know the course well enough to put in a decent performance in my first SA Stroke Play. My only aim at this stage is to make the cut; after that, anything will be a bonus.”
Bezuidenhout finished five strokes ahead of Southern Cape’s Jovan Rebula (72 69 70), while former top ranked junior Kyle McClatchie (69 76 68) and Gauteng North’s James du Preez (70 72 71) shared third on three under 213.
Fellow Gauteng North golfer Teaghan Gauche (68 72 75) edged out 2014 Scottish Boys Match Play and Stroke Play champion Ewen Ferguson (70 70 76) for fifth place at one under 215.
FINAL RESULT (Top 20)
206 Theunis Bezuidenhout 67 72 67
211 Jovan Rebula 72 69 70
213 Kyle Mcclatchie 69 76 68; James du Preez 70 72 71
215 Teaghan Gauche 68 72 75
216 Ewen Ferguson (SCO) 70 70 76
217 Paul Boshoff 70 68 79; Keegan de Lange 71 75 71
218 Rosswell Sinclair 71 76 71
219 Gregory Royston 71 74 74; Tristen Strydom 68 73 78
220 Marco Steyn 74 72 74; Connor Syme (SCO) 72 71 77; Greig Marchbank (SCO) 75 71 74; Aubrey Beckley 70 76 74
221 David Meyers 72 73 76; Jarred Miltz 76 67 78; Teagan Moore 75 74 72; Leonard Loxton 76 69 76
222 Gareth Clements 74 74 74; Andrew van der Knaap 76 73 73; Jason Smith 73 70 79
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association and Gauteng North Golf Union.