Martin lifts Limpopo Open title

Dean Martin made an emotional comeback to the winners circle when he edged out fellow Gauteng golfer Matthew Spacey to claim a one stroke victory in the Limpopo Open.

The Dainfern golfer closed with a two-under-par 70 after successive rounds of 68 to claim a wire-to-wire victory on 10-under-par 206 at Koro Creek Golf Course.

Although Martin has been a regular contender for Central Gauteng Golf Union Inter-Provincial teams at Junior, U-23 and Challenge level, his last podium finish was a play-off victory in the Larry Nestadt 12 months ago.

The 18-year-old was decidedly pleased to turn the page after a year of many struggles.

“I’m extremely excited, because it has been one long battle,” said Martin. “It was the first time in so long that I was in contention and that I actually looked forward to playing the final round.

“I know it sounds simple, but I feel like I’ve made a huge breakthrough. I finally got over the hurdle and I’ve never been more excited about the future.

“I’ve had some success along the way, but it wasn’t the kind of success where I went out on the last day and tried to win a national golf tournament.

“I finally let go enough. I’ve been striking the ball well and playing good golf, but this time I wasn’t scared of messing up. That was a big part. I trusted everything and it came together.

“My self-belief and confidence is much higher and I feel more comfortable when I am playing a round of golf. Now I believe my goal to get inside the top 30 on the Open Amateur rankings can become a reality.”

Spacey, who took second on 207 with rounds of 68, 69 and 70, finished three strokes clear of James du Preez from Gauteng North.

206 Dean Martin 68 68 70
207 Matthew Spacey 68 69 70
210 James du Preez (Jnr) 73 67 70
213 Marco de Beer 74 68 71; Rupert Kaminski 74 69 70
214 Benjamin Smith 71 71 72; Chris van Tonder 74 71 69; Matthew Francois Kiewitz 74 71 69
215 Xander Basson 69 73 73
216 Neal Herman 71 73 72; Luke Trocado 75 71 70; Philip Kruse 71 76 69

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

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