Hendrikse wary of EP duo at Humewood
Mellette Hendrikse identified Eastern Province seniors David Konzani and Mzuyanda (Peter) Zingela as the men most likely to deny him a successful title defence in the Indwe Risk Services SA Senior Amateur Stroke Play Championship title this week.
The country’s number one ranked senior cruised to a five stroke victory last year to seal his second triumph in the senior circuit’s flagship event.
The 55-year-old Akasia player, who recently reeled lifted his fifth title of the season, believes he will come under heavy fire as he bids for back-to-back titles at the magnificent Humewood Golf Club from 20-23 October.
“There are some really strong players in the field this year and David and Peter are at the top of the list,” Hendrikse said.
“They have both enjoyed excellent results in the coastal events this season. They were the two bankers in the Eastern Province team that won promotion in the SA Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial at East London Golf Club last week and they showed that their skill in the wind make them dangerous opponents.
“No doubt they will make the most of the home course advantage at Humewood.”
Konzani and Zingela has certainly made a case as tournament favourites.
Humewood’s Konzani vaulted to second in the national senior amateur rankings, courtesy of a victory in the Southern Cape Senior Open and runner-up finishes in the Eastern Province Senior and Border Senior Opens.
The 55-year-old supplemented his top three finishes with a recent third in the KZN Senior 36-hole Tournament at Cotswold Downs, followed by a tie for second in the KZN Senior Spring Classic at Durban Country Club.
Zingela, who celebrated a record 24th consecutive appearance in the premier South African Inter-Provincial sponsored by Tempest in September, has been impressive in his rookie season on the senior circuit.
The 50-year Uitenhage senior started his season with a tie for third at the Cape Winelands and won the Boland Senior Open in his second start.
He took his second victory at the KZN Senior 36-hole Tournament last month and between the two podium finishes, the South African number three collected runner-up finishes in the Eastern Province Senior Open and Fancourt Senior Open.
“Peter has only finished outside the top 10 once in his 10 starts,” Hendrikse said.
“He and David are the hottest two golfers on the circuit at the moment and playing at home will definitely be a huge motivation for them.
“Other golfers who are in hot form are Morgan Phillips from KwaZulu-Natal, who always gives a great account of himself in the major championships and former champion Francois le Roux.
“Francois won the Eastern Province Senior Open at St Francis Links and he is hitting the kind of form that carried him to the top spot in the rankings a few years ago.
“Winning a tournament like the Indwe Risk Services SA Senior Amateur Stroke Play Championship brings a certain amount of responsibility, and I’m really hoping to be able to perform well enough to be in the frame once again.
“My form of late has been good and my swing is moving in the right direction again. If my patience and my putting are anywhere near as good as it has been this year, then I believe I’ll be in the mix again. It’d be great to lift that trophy again!”
Indwe Risk Services CEO Peter Olyott said: ““The Indwe Risk Services SA Senior Amateur Stroke Play Championship gives our seniors the best possible platform to test themselves and the popularity of the event is testament to golf’s popularity in the senior circles.
“We value our association with senior amateur golf in South Africa and will continue to play the lead role in providing the seniors with a high level platform to showcase their incredible talent.”
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.