Claassen wins as SA Team prepares perfectly for Zone VI

JG Claassen, winner of the Zimbabwe Amateur ChampionshipJG Claassen continued his rich vein of form when he won the 2009 Zimbabwe Amateur Golf Championship yesterday, played over 72 holes of stroke play at the Royal Harare Golf Club. He finished on 277, eleven under par, one shot clear of a leader board that was dominated by the South African Zone VI team.

The top eight places were filled with players selected by the South African Golf Association to represent South Africa in Southern Africa’s most prestigious team event which commences at Chapman Golf Club on Tuesday (tomorrow).

Claassen, who recently won the South African Amateur Stroke Play, recorded a course record 65, seven under par, in his third round, giving him a 54 hole total of 205, eleven under par. Going into the final round, which was played on the same day, he found himself four shots clear of the field. Overnight leader Leon Knoll, dropping back to 209 after recording a third round 70, two under par.

The 18 year old North West Province player kept his nose in front the whole of the final round by recording a regulation 72, finishing one shot ahead of strong finishing Coenie Bester. Bester’s final round of 67, five under par, was the best of the day.

Bester finished with a 72 hole total of 278, seven shots clear of Leon Knoll who was next best on 285, three under par.

The South Africans will be well pleased with their preparation for the Zone VI, a three day team competition that is played annually.

In all ten nations are expected to compete, with the strong South African team not only defending champions but also favourites to win.

Today sees the official practice rounds being played with the opening and flag raising ceremony taking place this afternoon. Tomorrow all teams will play singles. One player from one team will play against a representative of another team. Each match won scores the team one point. South Africa will be hoping to collect a full house of 8 points, as they did in last year’s tournament.

On Wednesday the teams play each other on the same basis but in foursomes and better ball match play format. The final round, on Thursday, will follow exactly the same format as for the first round, namely singles.

South Africa won last year’s event comfortably, finishing with 22.5 points (from a maximum of 24) and were followed, on 16 points, by Zimbabwe, this year’s host.

Final Results
Royal Harare Golf Club (Par 72: (72 holes Par 288))

(South African unless stated otherwise)

Leading Scores:
277 – JG Claassen (72,68,65,72)
278 – Coenie Bester (71,72,68,67)
285 – Leon (69,70,70,76)
288 – Derik Ferreira (74,70,68,76)
290 – Yubin Jung (78,71,72,69)
291 – Trevor Mahoney (73,74,73,71), Jake Redman (76,73,73,69)
292 – Johan Bekker (72,74,71,75)
293 – Nyasha Muyambo (ZIM) (70,74,75,74)
294 – Dale Howie (72,74,74,74)
297 – Vincent Scott (ZIM) (74,76,73,74)
298 – Chenai Mushiri (ZIM) (69,80,76,73)
301 – Neil Homann (77,72,74,78)

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