Bezuidenhout triumphs at WP Stroke Play
Ekurhuleni’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout battled to a comprehensive wire-to-wire victory at the Milnerton Golf Links on Wednesday to seal his second Western Province Stroke Play Championship title in two years.
Unlike the sunny conditions that encouraged low scoring over the first two, the field was assaulted by a fierce South-easterly wind that gusted with force during the third and fourth rounds.
As the wind raged up to 37 km per hour, the country’s number one ranked amateur wrestled his way to rounds of 71 and 74 to seal a six-stroke victory on six-under-par 278.
The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member was absolute thrilled with the victory.
“It was great to win under the trying conditions,” the 19-year-old Nigel golfer said.
“I was really excited when I won the title last year, but this year’s win actually means so much more to me. I am really pleased with the way I hung in there, because at times we were playing in a five club wind and my frustration levels went climbing through the roof.”
Bezuidenhout said tee to green was tough, but he especially struggled on the greens.
“Every putt was a gamble, because of the gusts and I really battled to just the pace,” he said.
“I had two birdies and a bogey on the front nine in the final round, but the back nine was just plain ugly. I three-putted the 10th and that broke my momentum and I ended up with three bogeys in a row.
“I hit a poor chip into the 11th and I was still 20 feet short of the green after hitting a driver and three-wood at the par-four 12. I dropped another shot at the 14th, but I managed to get one back with a birdie at the 15th.”
Bezuidenhout said he was thrilled to walk off the 18th the champion, despite a bogey finish.
“Days like this is a great test of your patience and your determination,” he said,
“I am proud of the way that I hung in there and that I kept on fighting. I think that is why this second victory almost means more to me than the first.”
Herman Loubser from Paarl had a one shot lead over Milnerton’s Luca Filippi at the 36-hole mark and the 15-year-old Boland teenager held on for second after rounds of 69 and 75.
Filippi followed a third round 74 with a superb final round 69 to edge into third on 285.
Milnerton’s Cameron Johnston (69 – 72) and Dainfern’s David Meyers (68 – 75) shared fourth on 286.
Bezuidenhout will take up his title defence in the Western Province Match Play on Thursday and will face another Bolander, Armand Scholtz, in the first round.
FINAL RESULT (top 10)
278 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout 68 65 71 74
284 – Herman Loubser 69 71 69 75
285 – Luca Filippi 73 69 74 69
286 – Cameron Johnston 73 72 69 72; David Meyers 72 76 68 70
287 – Jade Buitendag 77 69 71 70; Breyten Meyer 71 77 69 70
288 – Werner Theart 75 72 68 73; Zander Lombard 74 72 67 75
292 – Tristen Strydom 71 72 75 74
(full scores available at www.wpgu.co.za)