Conquering Ellis-Cole geared for 55th SA IPT

Ekurhuleni’s Angus Ellis-Cole broke through for his first provincial victory in the Mpumalanga Open on Sunday and it was a very timely win for Glendower golfer, who won the weather-reduced tournament on 19-under-par 197.

“I really couldn’t have timed it better,” said 20-year-old Ellis-Cole.

“We are a week away from the Premier South African Inter-Provincial and that’s the most important national team championship of the season.

“Plus, we are playing at my home course, Glendower, this year. I’ve been at the Gavan Levenson Academy for six years and I know this course like the back of my hand. It’s a pure shot-maker’s layout and accuracy is crucial. Hitting this vein of form right before the SA IPT is an absolute gift.”

Ellis-Cole lagged one stroke behind Southern Cape’s Tom Watson after opening with a six under 66.

After Saturday’s second round was washed out by incessant rain that left the greens waterlogged, he took control with a blistering 65 on Sunday morning and closed with a 66 to triumph by four strokes.

Ellis-Cole made a fast start in the second round with eagles at six and nine and a birdie at eight to turn five under to leapfrog Watson for the lead.

He added gains at 10 and 14 to carry a five stroke lead into the final round over Albert Venter and Luke Trocado, who returned respective rounds of 66 and 68.

“I just tried to stick to my processes going into the final round Sunday afternoon,” Ellis-Cole said.

“I didn’t want to think about winning, because I didn’t want to get ahead of myself and jeopardise my chances.”
Ellis-Cole birdied all the par fives and birdied 16 and 17 before sealing his win with par at 18.

Southern Cape’s Jade Buitendag fired a nine-under-par 63 and Venter from Gauteng North carded a 65 in the final round to tie for second on 201, while Trocado from Western Province closed with a 67 to finish in third on 203.

“Jade (Buitendag) and Albert played some fantastic golf in the final round, so I couldn’t afford to relax,” Ellis-Cole said.

“It was nice to go down the last hole with a bit of a cushion. I’ve been playing well, but I’ve struggled to score. It felt incredible to put together three low rounds.

“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders to finally get this win under the belt.”

Ellis-Cole rose to 24th in the South African Golf Association’s Open Amateur Rankings and the victory has given him an injection of confidence ahead of his third appearance for Ekurhuleni in the 55th Premier South African Inter-Provincial.

Ellis-Cole will line up alongside skipper Rowan du Preez, Ernest Botha, 2014 Nomads SA Boys U-19 Amateur champion Paul Boshoff, recent Africa Junior Open winner Sentanio Minnie, as well as Teagan Moore, Kyle McClatchie and Dylan Mostert.

“Rowan and Ernest are SA IPT veterans and will bring a lot of experience to the side,” said the former Glendower Club Champion.

“Paul has gained a lot of experience playing in the United States the last couple of months and Sentanio, Kyle and Teagan has all had solid seasons.

“Dylan is coming off five top five finishes in his last six starts on the junior circuit, so it really feels like everyone is peaking at the right time.

“Unfortunately our number one Tristen Strydom won’t be with us this year. We are disappointed and we will definitely miss him, but we are determined to bring it home for our province and for Tristen at the home of the South African Open Championship.”

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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