JOHANNESBURG, 19 June 2019 – Central Gauteng’s Kian Rose holed a timely chip shot from over the back of the green for birdie on the final hole to snatch victory in the Nomads National Order of Merit Inland at Modderfontein Golf Club.
The 17-year-old from Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club fired a final round six-under-par 66 to surpass overnight leader Christiaan Maas and claim his first national title and second major tournament victory, following his success in the first Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series.
Having struggled to a level par opening round, Rose made five birdies, an eagle and solitary drop to win by a stroke over Nikhil Rama.
“The first day was a little messy,” he explained. “I think I only hit seven greens in regulation, but thankfully my short game kept me in it.
“I was only two back and I knew I couldn’t play as badly as the first round, so it was a relief when I started well. From then on it was almost perfect – I was hitting fairways and greens and I only made one mistake, on the 17th.
“I even holed out from the bunker for eagle on the 13th and then I chipped in for birdie on the last.”
Rose lost out to Ekurhuleni junior Yurav Premlall in the first Nomads National Order of Merit event of the season at Umhlali Country Club and was delighted to tick the box at Modderfontein.
He was a member in his earlier years and may have benefitted from some local knowledge, although he admits it had been over two years since his last round on the course. Thankfully for him, the familiar surroundings brought out the best in his game.
“I had been going through a rough patch with my long irons and my driver. but when I started the second round, everything just fell into place’” he said. “I’m so happy with this win. It’s definitely my best so far and it’s great to achieve one of the goals I set for myself this season.
“I love playing the Nomads tournaments because a huge step up from provincial golf. It’s great to compete in these events where I can test myself against the best juniors in the country on some of the best courses.”
Rama shot a second-round 68 to finish alone in second, although the 17-year-old Bryanston junior will feel like he let one slip away with a bogey and a double bogey from the 14th hole. He made amends with a birdie on the 17th, and a two-shot swing, but was ultimately undone by Rose’s birdie chip.
Royal Johannesburg and Kensington’s Samual Mckenzie finished third on 2 under, Maas from Pretoria Country Club was fourth on 1 under, while Kieron van Wyk from Ruimsig and Pecanwood’s Nash de Klerk shared fifth spot.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.