5 January 2021 – KwaZulu-Natal junior Jack Cubitt combined a solid short game with home course advantage to claim the first GolfRSA trophy of the 2021 season with a come-from-behind victory in the Nomads National Order of Merit Coastal at Selborne Golf Club on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe’s Keegan Shutt set the first round target with an opening one-under-par 71 and Cubitt began the final round two off the pace, but a solid start delivered a punch of confidence that set the 18-year-old on a winning course.
“I pitched it to 10 feet on the second hole and made the putt and then I wedged it from 90 metres to seven feet on the third and holed it for another birdie. Just the start I was hoping for,” Cubitt said.
“I has soft drops on four and eight, but on 10, I laid up after I drove it left under the trees and hit a great wedge from 94 meters to 12 foot. I holed the birdie putt to get back to one-under.”
Cubitt used his local course knowledge to stay in touch on the back nine as the lead continued to changed hands, with Shutt, Stefan Delport and Jonathan Wilsenach all taking a turn at the top.
“I am handicapped at Umdoni Park Golf Club, but I’m also a member at Selborne and I know the back nine plays a lot longer than the outward loop,” he said. “There were also a couple of tricky pins out there. You can’t just fire at the pins. You have play the last nine holes more strategically and stay patient.”
Cubitt strung together seven consecutive pars and arrived at the 18th tee trailing leader Delport from Maritzburg Golf Club by one shot.
“Stefan was playing ahead of me and I saw him hit his drive into the hazard on 18. My game plan was to try and drive the green. I decided to stick with the strategy, but I didn’t execute well and ended up just short of the 14th tee box.
“Stefan hit his fourth shot on the green and I thought at the worst, we might have a play-off, but he missed the bogey putt. That took some of the pressure off. I had a gap between the trees to the green, and I chipped through the gap to about six feet.”
The local hero boxed the birdie putt for a two-under-par 70 that netted him a two-shot victory on two-under.
“I am so pleased to start the season on such a high note,” said an elated Cubitt, who matriculated from Westville Boys High last year.
“The plan was to play all the GolfRSA events until I start college in Arizona in August, but with the travel restrictions and lockdowns, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to travel to the States. So to be able to pull this one out of the hat was really amazing. Hopefully I can continue to build on my form and bring a few more trophies home.”
Delport may rue the errant tee shot on the closing hole that cost him the win, but a final round 71 still earned the Maritzburg golfer a credible tie for second with Wilsenach.
Matthew Lotz from Atlantic Beach improved six shots on his opening 76 to grab a share of fourth alongside GolfRSA National Squad member Filip Sakota, Behn Heyns and Shutt.
Final Results (Top 20)
143 Jack Cubitt 73 70
145 Stefan Delport 74 71; Jonathan Wilsenach 72 73
146 Matthew Lotz 76 70; Behn Heyns 73 73; Filip Sakota 72 74; Keegan Shutt 71 75
147 Joshua Koekemoer 77 70; Amilkar Bhana 77 70; John-William Blomerus 73 74
148 Christopher Bagnall 79 69; Enzo Barbaglia 75 73; Luke Truter 74 74; Ivan Verster 73 75
149 Lyle Pedro 75 74; Stefan Jacobs 73 76
150 Caden Sanders 76 74; Jaden Deltel 74 76; Dian Wilmot 72 78
151 Matthew Dennis 77 74
Click HERE for the full results.