Strydom runs up Cape double in Hermanus
Tristen Strydom further cemented his position as country’s number one ranked amateur when he seized his second victory in as many weeks in the Boland Amateur Stroke Play Championship on Wednesday.
Just seven days after his Western Province Amateur Stroke Play Championship triumph at Rondebosch Golf Club, Strydom enjoyed another come-from-behind conquest at Hermanus Golf Club.
The Ekurhuleni amateur lagged two off the pace heading into the final round and fired a flawless four-under-par 68 to claim a one stroke victory on nine-under-par 207.
Strydom was tied for the lead with Clayton Mansfield heading down the 18th, but he denied the KwaZulu-Natal player victory with a solid birdie at the closing hole.
Mansfield from Durban Country Club signed for a 69 to take sole second, finishing a stroke ahead of recent Western Province Amateur Match Play champion Andre Nel from Southern Cape and Central Gauteng pair Marco Steyn and Jason Viljoen.
Steyn posted the low round of the day, a 66, to share third with Viljoen, who returned a 70 and Nel, who registered 67.
But, ultimately, the day belonged to Strydom.
The 17-year-old battled to an opening 71, but a long session at the driving range saw him start the second round with a spring in his step.
“I was not striking the ball well in the first round, so I spent a few hours at the driving range and things started to click,” Strydom explained.
“I put myself into contention with a 68 in the second round and the swing felt even better going out there this morning.”
He mixed a birdie with eight pars on the front nine and notched two more gains at the 13th and 16th before sealing his victory with a four at the par-five 18th.
“The last two weeks have been incredible,” Strydom said. “In both tournaments, I was struggling a lot at the start but managed to work out the problem and come through the field to win.
“I just kept telling myself that I am playing well and I just need to keep patient. I knew that if I could start holing some putts I could put up a fight.”
Strydom struggled at the start of the season and credits much of his return to form to coach Grant Hepburn.
“It took me years to find a coach that works for me,” he said. “Grant has a more philosophical approach to the game and it just works for me. Sometimes you have to wait for the good things in life, and Grant is definitely one of the best things that has happened to me.
“I also have to thank my caddie, Nicholas Sauls from Caledon, who was also on the bag in the Western Province Amateur. He kept me focussed and his input was definitely a factor in my success.
“It doesn’t matter if I play well or stink, I love competing here. I always have a great time here and I really enjoy the course. It’s been a really great tournament and I would like to thank everyone here at Hermanus Golf Club for a fantastic week.”
FINAL RESULT – Top 20
207 Tristen Strydom 71 68 68
208 Clayton Mansfield 69 70 69
209 Marco Steyn 69 74 66; Andre Nel 69 73 67; Jason Viljoen 67 72 70
210 Rupert Kaminski 70 71 69; Philip Kruse 67 72 71
211 Altin van der Merwe 68 73 70
212 Jade Buitendag 73 71 68; Armandt Scholtz 72 69 71; Jason Smith 70 72 70; David Meyers 70 71 71; Matthew Spacey 69 71 72; Neal Herman 69 70 73
213 Albert Venter 75 71 67; Herman Loubser 71 73 69; Jason Rossiter 71 68 74; Sean Bradley 70 73 70
214 Louis Taylor 67 70 77
215 Andi Dill 74 73 68; David McIntyre 73 72 70; Marco Loubser 70 73 72; Tom Watson 70 73 72; Siegmund Human 70 73 72; Richard Joubert 68 70 77
PHOTO – Hermanus Golf Club captain Stephen van der Merwe, Boland Amateur Stroke Play champion Tristen Strydom, South African Golf Association President Gerhard Conradie and Boland Golf Union president Johan Scholtz; credit Sharon Sleigh.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.