Marchbank defeats Strydom for Proudfoot Trophy

Scotland’s Greig Marchbank defeated South Africa’s number one ranked Tristen Strydom in a sudden-death playoff to claim the Proudfoot Trophy in the Sanlam South African Amateur Championship at Silver Lakes Golf Estate on Monday.

Marchbank registered rounds of 67 and 71 and Strydom returned rounds of 72 and 66 to tie at six under par 138 in regulation play in the rain-interrupted 36-hole qualifier.

The title was decided in fast-fading light and the pair quickly set off to the 10th, but a pair of fours meant a trip to the par five 18th.

Marchbank found the green in two, but Strydom’s tee shot disappeared in the reeds.

The Scot sealed his victory with a par, while the South African eventually signed off with a bogey six.

“It was bit crazy playing in the dark,” said the delighted 20-year-old Marchbank.

“Tristen and I were both happy to finish it. The light on 10 wasn’t too bad, but up the 18th we were struggling to see. We agreed that it was good to get it over and done with.”

Marchbank admitted he had no idea where his ball was going on his second shot into the par five.

“I managed to knock it on the green in two, even though I didn’t see any of the ball. It felt good when I didn’t hear a splash. I was delighted when they told me it was on the green.”

The Thornhill golfer said his main focus is on the Match Play, but winning the Proudfoot Trophy was still a significant confidence booster.

“It means a lot, obviously,” he said. “The main trophy is the Match Play, but it’s definitely good to win the Stroke Play. It’s like a notch in the belt and I’m delighted to have won it.

“I’m playing well, so there’s no reason why I can’t go places in the Match Play, but it’s a funny game. You’ve really have to be on the ball. For me it doesn’t change; I just try and make as many birdies as I can.”

By contrast, Strydom said it would have been a huge achievement to win the trophy.

“It would have meant the world to me, because the Proudfoot Trophy has a lot of history,” he said.

The 18-year-old Ekurhuleni golfer earned an invitation into the Joburg Open last week. Although he narrowly missed the cut, Strydom said the opportunity to test his game against an international field of professionals from the Sunshine Tour and European Tour paid off.

“I think the Joburg Open last week just gave me the little bit of confidence coming back and playing this week,” said the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate golfer.

“I played really well. I was hitting the driver really good again. I think my swing is back to where it was at the end of last year. I’m really happy with the way I played.”

Strydom teed off in the morning and fired the round of the day with his six under effort which included a phenomenal eight birdies and an eagle.

“I just came here with a good mind-set today. I woke up this morning and told myself I had to have a good round. It’s the biggest tournament of the year and everybody puts a lot of pressure on themselves. I’m feeling confident for the Match Play.”

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

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