SA win African Team Championship
The South African amateur golf team won the 72 hole stroke play African Amateur Golf Team Championships on Friday and in so doing continued their unbeaten record in Africa’s premier annual team golf competition.
With the best three scores counting, of four players to a team, the South Africans recorded a final round score of 220, four over par, and a 72 hole aggregate of 866, two over par. They finished fourteen shots clear of second placed Kenya.
Playing the Dreamland Golf Club, Cairo, Eygpt, the promising eighteen year old JG Claassen, from Orkney in the North West Province, drew on all his experience to overcome a tenacious Borniface Simwa of Kenya, the overnight leader, to take the individual competition honours on the final hole of regulation play. His final round of 68, four under par, gave him a four round total of 282, six under par.
JG was leading the field by one shot at the turn. However Simwa birdied hole 11 to draw level with the South African and Zimbabwe Stroke Play champion. This is how it remained to the final hole, despite both players squandering birdie opportunities along the way.
It was Claassen’s magnificent second to the green of long par 4 18th hole that ended up separating the two players in an absorbing struggle over the back nine. He hit his approach to just over a metre and canned the birdie putt, which the Kenyan could not match.
Yubin Jung, who was up with Simwa for the first three rounds of the individual competition, dropped back after recording a three over par 75 in the final round. He ended up on his own in third place with a 72 hole aggregate of 289, one over par.
Trevor Mahoney, the Western Province Amateur Champion, struggled over the back nine holes, as he had most of the week, to a 77, five over par.
The final player in the South African team, Jake Redman, whose luggage from South Africa has still not been located, recorded a disappointing 78.
“It was quite windy on the final day,” said Enver Hassen, South African Golf Association President and team manager after the round. “This competition came immediately after the SA Inter-Provincial, I think the players were a bit fatigued,” said Hassen in answering a question on the reason for the high scoring of all the South African players other than Claassen.
Final Results of the African Amateur Golf Team Championship
Dreamland Golf Club, Cairo. Par 72 (Team Competition par: 216; 72 holes: 864)
(In brackets are the players whose scores counted in the final round only)
866 – South Africa (214,212,220,220) (JG Claassen (68), Yubin Jung (74), Trevor Mahoney (77))
880 – Kenya (212,223,218,227) (Sullivan Muthugia (76), Borniface Simwa (71), Collins Omondi Ochieng (80))
891 – Namibia (222,229,222,218) (Gordon Demster (74), Schalk van der Merwe (75), Francois Hanekom (69))
899 – Zimbabwe (226,222,225,226)
909 – Uganda (225,218,236,230)
911 – Botswana (221,227,231,232)
912 – Morocco (243,230,225,214)
920 – Swaziland (229,225,233,233), Egypt (231,229,228,232)
941 – Tanzania (231,240,230,240)
952 – Zambia (236,239,240,237)
958 – Cote D’Ivoire (249,233,236,240)
987 – Libya (247,246,242,252)
Final Results: Leading scores in the 72 hole Stroke Play individual competition
282 – JG Claassen (RSA) (71,70,73,68)
283 – Borniface Simwa (KEN) (69,72,71,71)
289 – Yubin Jung (RSA), (69,71,74,75)
290 – Francois Hanekom (NAM) (73,73,76,69)
293 – Kamal Benshouda (MOR) (80,70,73,70)
296 – Scott Vincent (ZIM) (72,68,80,76), Stuart Smith (BOT) (71,75,74,76)
299 – Sullivan Muthugia (KEN) (74,74,75,76)
300 – Gordon Demester (NAM) (76,80,70,74), Trevor Mahoney (RSA) (74,76,73,77), Collins Ochieng (KEN) (69,79,72,80), Jake Redman (RSA) (74,71,77,78), Vincent Byamukama (UGA) (77,67,79,77)