SA’s Snyman defeats Scottish Open champ in PE
Western Province amateur Ian Snyman defeated reigning Carrick Neil Scottish Open Stroke Play champion Gavin Moynihan with a perfectly timed flop-shot to end a dramatic four-hole play-off for the Eastern Province/Border Stroke Play title on Sunday.
Snyman carded rounds of 68 and 69 at Port Elizabeth Golf Club to take the 36-hole lead at seven-under-par 137, while first round leader Moynihan from Ireland followed an opening 67 with a 73 to lag three shots off the pace going into the final round.
Moynihan, a member of the 2013 Walker Cup and 2014 Eisenhower Trophy team, scorched the course in 66 strokes to set the clubhouse target at 10-under-par 206. However, Snyman answered with a 69 to tie the world number 35 at the end of regulation play.
In three extra trips down the par-five closing hole, the pair were still at a stalemate.
Snyman’s fourth tee shot found the rough on the right, while Moynihan finished just off the 18th fairway. Both players hit their approaches into the right greenside bunker.
Moynihan splashed out to leave himself a 12-footer for birdie, but Snyman’s trap shot flew the green.
“I had 10 meters to the pin, but I couldn’t chip because I had very little green to work with,” the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation player explained.
“I hit a flop-shot to make sure the ball would stop, but it hit the center of the cup and dropped for birdie. Gavin’s putt looked like it was going to drop all the way to the hole, but it died just on the lip. I must thank my coach, Paul MacKenzie.
“We worked really hard on my game last year and that flop-shot is all down to his short-game drills.”
Snyman won the 2014 Western Province Premier Tour Order of Merit with four victories and a clutch of top five finishes and lifted the Southern Cape Open Championship in March.
He was absolutely delighted to kick off his season with victory at the Srixon/Cleveland sponsored event.
“I only played five of provincial events on the national circuit, because I had to concentrate on my studies,” explained Snyman, who leaves for Indian Hills Junior College in Iowa this August.
“That’s why it’s really nice to start the season with a bang. I plan to play as many of the national and provincial tournaments as possible this year to prepare for college.
“Hopefully I can carry my form into the SA Stroke Play this week, but you start every tournament with a clean slate, so I’m not setting my expectations too high. I just want to get through each round as best I can and hopefully I can give myself a chance to challenge in the final round.”
Fellow Western Province golfer Gerlou Roux fired a 67 to finish four strokes back in third, while reigning SA Stroke Play champion Jason Smith from Gauteng North and North West Province’s Aubrey Beckley closed with 70s to tie for fourth on five under 211.
FINAL RESULT (Top 20)
206 Ian Snynan 68 69 69 (fourth play-off hole
206 Gavin Moynihan IRE 67 73 66
210 Gerlou Roux 72 71 67
211 Jason Smith 68 73 70; Aubrey Beckley 72 69 70
212 Andre Nel 69 71 72; Luke Trocado 69 75 68; Tristen Strydom 72 72 68
213 Gary Hurley IRE 69 70 74; Herman Loubser 73 70 70; Keegan de Lange 72 73 68
214 Jovan Rebula 72 72 70
215 James du Preez 73 71 71; Jack Hume IRE 71 75 69; Jade Buitendag 73 73 69
216 Sean Bradley 71 74 71; Romain Langasque FRA 73 72 71; Cormac Sharvin IRE 74 73 69
217 Ugo Coussard FRA 72 73 72
218 Teaghan Gauche 74 71 73; Rupert Kaminski 72 78 68
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association