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.
RESULTS – TOP 10
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.