Boshoff triumphs at Nomads SA Boys U-19 Champs

Ekurhuleni’s Paul Boshoff defeated Hennie du Plessis from Limpopo at the last hole of a humdinger 36-hole final to lift the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Match Play Championship title on Saturday.

Throughout a very blustery day at Umhlali Golf Club, the lead changed hands no less than seven times in the ding-dong battle for supremacy. The 17-year-old finalists were still all square at their second visit to the par-three 18th and it looked as if the battle would head to a play-off decider.

However, Boshoff’s tee shot stood up to the wind gusting at 30 kilometers an hour off the left, and found the edge of the green, while Du Plessis’s effort splashed in the greenside bunker.

The Limpopo golfer played a terrific trap shot that slipped just six feet past the pin, but Boshoff lagged a lengthy putt to the edge of the cup for a tap-in par.

Du Plessis missed his attempt to extend the match, and the victory went to Boshoff. The country’s number five ranked junior was absolutely thrilled to get the job done.

“I reckon that the people who came must have thought neither of us wants to win this,” Boshoff kidded.

“I am so incredibly proud right now. Considering the past champions, it is a great honour to know my name will join players like Tim Clark, Trevor Immelman, Richard Sterne and Dylan Frittelli on the trophy.”

Boshoff, who reached the quarter-finals last year, was delighted to go the full distance this year.

“To be honest, I don’t really enjoy match play and I’ve never excelled at it, but after I tied for 20th in the Stroke Play Championship, I decided that I had to give the Match Play my best effort,” he said.

Boshoff said the wind was the great equaliser.

“I took the lead four times, and Hennie had it three times, so I’d say we were very evenly matched. Neither of us ran away with it, though, because we both battled to keep control in the wind.

“The locals say that this was just about as bad as the wind gets around here. Club selection was tough. It was really difficult to get the ball close to the pins, especially on the holes into the wind. Even if you got close, it was pretty tough to putt in the wind.

“It was a long day and it could have gone either way. I feel for Hennie, because he was a fantastic opponent. I got the ball to the hole at the last and he didn’t. That’s what always makes the difference in matches like these.”

The Match Play victory follows a fourth place finish at the recent Sanlam Cape Province Open and the young gun hopes the confidence from this achievement will carry him into the winner’s circle more often this season.

“I began working with Gavan Levenson a while ago and I feel that my game has improved,” he said.

“I also received my new clubs from Nike just before we headed down to George and they are great. With the new clubs and a new coach, it just feels like my game is reaching a higher level and I’m very excited about the season ahead.”

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