Bezuidenhout rallies for Limpopo Open glory

Ekurhuleni’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout underlined his growing stature when he leapfrogged the frontrunners to claim a surprise come-from-behind win at the Limpopo Open, sponsored by The Pro Shop, on Sunday.

Reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion Thriston Lawrence from Mpumalanga had shot to pole position on nine under 135 after firing a second round nine-under-par 63. NJ Arnoldi from Ekurhuleni lagged one stroke behind the 16-year-old, while local favourite Hennie du Plessis was just two shots adrift. Bezuidenhout began the final round three shots off the pace after successive rounds of 69.

But, in the vein of the old adage “two dogs fight over a bone and the third runs away with it’, the 18-year-old Nigel golfer carded a sublime five-under-par 67 at the par-72, 6,253 meter layout to overtake the leading threesome and lift the title on a winning total of 11-under-par 205.

Lawrence was bumped to second on 207 after carding a 72 and Arnoldi took third on 208, after also coming home in level-par.

Meanwhile Du Plessis, who threatened at both the recent Nomads SA Boys U-17 Championship and the Nomads National Order of Merit (NOoM) event at Fancourt, carded a disappointing 77 to slip to a tie for fourth alongside Central Gauteng’s Callum Mowat and Ekurhuleni’s Stefan Cronje.

Bezuidenhout has enjoyed a watershed season after a sluggish start to the season.

After a top 10 finish in KwaZulu-Natal and a couple top 30 finishes, the 18-year-old Nigel golfer finished second at the Free State & Northern Cape Open and announced his presence with victory at the Eastern Province / Border Stroke Play.

After runner-up finishes in the Eastern Province Stroke Play and Cape Provine Open, Bezuidenhout caused a major upset when he captured the elusive double at the Western Province Amateur.

Just days after he defeated SA number one Haydn Porteous for the Stroke Play title, he held off a spirited challenge from Arnoldi to win the Match Play at Strand Golf Club.

The momentous victory launched Bezuidenhout to third in the South African Golf Association’s rankings and he further cemented his position with a tie for sixth at the KwaZulu-Natal Amateur Stroke Play Qualifier and the quarter-finals in the match play.

Bezuidenhout will have the chance to test himself against top juniors from around the world when he tees it up in the RB German Junior at the Heddesheim Golf Club in August.

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