GROBLER’S TWO IRON EARNS HIM A TWO-STROKE VICTORY IN PGA NATIONAL CHAMPS

10 May 2018

BENONI (10 May 2018) – Krugersdorp’s Clinton Grobler claimed the biggest victory of his career when he won the PGA of South Africa National Championship, presented by Diners Club, at the Ebotse Links on Thursday.

After an opening 76 in this 54-hole championship, Grobler worked his way into contention with a second round of 68 that pulled him back to level par overall. Then he closed with a five-under-par 67 on Thursday to win by two shots over Glendower’s Rudy Whitfield.

“I like tight golf courses and courses where you don’t have to hit driver all the time. I used my two iron a lot off the tee all week, gave myself some short irons in and then just made the putts,” said Grobler, who celebrated his 24th birthday in the second round of this championship.

“This is one of the highlights of my career. I think I’m just going to have a quiet braai with my parents and my girlfriend to celebrate this win.”

Grobler finished third in this championship last year and said the victory is a big confidence boost in terms of his ultimate goal of playing on the Sunshine Tour.

“I missed out at the tour’s qualifying school this year, but I got my first start on the Sunshine Big Easy Tour and finished fifth. So my game has been getting better from there. I’ve worked hard with my coach and my father motivates me a lot. I also play a lot with Sunshine Tour professional Ruan de Smidt and his brother Darren, and they push me to get better.

“To win this title is amazing because I just love what the PGA of South Africa is doing for golf, and being around fellow PGA members is very inspiring. I take a lot of pride in this title.”

Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate’s Nicole Becker was the only women professional to make the cut and as such took the honours in the women’s division. Becker finished in a share of 24th place on a total of 14 over par.

“I’m very happy with this finish because I stopped playing competitively about six years ago and have just been focused on teaching. This is such a great tournament and I’d really encourage more of our women PGA professionals to come and compete in it. There’s been huge growth in the number of women joining the PGA of South Africa and they are doing some great work, especially at a junior golf level,” she said.

Benoni Country Club’s Rob van Velzen took the senior title with his finish of tied 16th on nine over par and was equally delighted to still be giving the younger professionals some solid competition.

“That’s a great feeling. I’m very happy with my overall performance because I don’t play too much competitive golf. Ebotse is also a demanding course and the greens were fast. But the course set-up was very fair. It’s great to play a championship where the course is not just set up for the long hitters but actually involves some creative thought as well.”

Photo: Krugersdorp’s Clinton Grobler claimed a two-shot victory in the 2018 PGA of South Africa National Championship, presented by Diners Club, at the Ebotse Links on Thursday. Credit: Lauren Nolte.

Final scores from the PGA National Championship, presented by Diners Club, at the par-72 Ebotse Links:

211 Clinton Grobler 76 68 67

213 Rudy Whitfield 73 69 71

214 Pieter Kruger 76 70 68; Christo Roos 75 71 68

218 Michael Michell 73 74 71

219 Michael Scholz 77 71 71; Dane Vosloo 71 74 74

220 Kevin Edwards 75 70 75; Henk Alberts 70 77 73

221 Kenneth Dube 72 73 76

223 Robert Wiederkehr 74 75 74

224 Jannie Botha 74 79 71; Gregg Upton 74 73 77; Sheldon Steyn 73 80 71; Gregory Jacobs 71 78 75

225 Rob van Velzen 79 73 73; Altus Kapp 77 73 75; Dean Kupferman 74 79 72

228 Dietrich Uys 76 76 76; Ian Eveleigh 75 74 79

229 Conrad du Plooy 79 77 73; Christo Hattingh 78 78 73; Keagan Beyer 76 76 77

230 Nicole Becker 77 79 74; Alan Michell 76 77 77; Jaun van Greunen 75 73 82

231 Jared Burnard 82 71 78; Ruben Labuschagne 73 79 79

232 Alrich Labuschagne 82 77 73; Sean Botha 79 81 72; William Lake ZIM 78 77 77; Morten Bredahl 73 79 80

233 Rudy Mertz 81 78 74; Paul Marks 78 74 81

234 Francois Spangenberg 78 78 78; Chris Clayton 77 76 81; Adam Baker 74 77 83

235 Jaco Vermeulen 81 76 78

238 Stephan Spies 84 76 78; Darrin Hedley 81 77 80

239 Edwin Compton 83 75 81; Francois Viljoen 82 78 79; Sevey Links 74 82 83

240 Tyrone Lorusso 81 81 78

241 Hanko Bothma 81 83 77; Matthew Bird 81 80 80

242 J C Coetzer 84 80 78

243 Ben Fouchee 79 85 79

244 Johan Engelbrecht 82 76 86; Michael Elson 79 78 87

245 Michael Balderstone 82 82 81

246 Reece Mayberry 81 79 86

MC Mark Caldeira 86 79 MC; John Dickson 85 80 MC; Callam Ward 82 83 MC; Byron Nel 82 83 MC; Johan Smit 80 85 MC; Greg Petzer 84 82 MC; Kirstein Wessels 84 83 MC; Pieter Schutte 93 75 MC; Nathan Holiday 85 83 MC; Tiaan Klopper 84 84 MC; Eugene Schwartz 78 90 MC; Ian Geringer 89 81 MC; Songs Sonamzi 85 85 MC; Charles Erasmus 83 87 MC; Hans Jonck 77 93 MC; Matt Heyns 84 88 MC; Craig Lewthwaite 85 88 MC; Morne Engelbrecht 84 89 MC; Johan Wolfaardt 83 90 MC; Jaco Neethling 89 85 MC; Soekie Marais 88 86 MC; Renier de Beer 90 87 MC; Brendon van Nieuwenhuizen 89 90 MC; Jaco Swart 91 89 MC; Ian Corbett 86 95 MC; Leon Bothma 94 88 MC

DQ Richard Kaplan 78 DQ MC; Jan Steenekamp 85 DQ MC; Jaun Geyser 86 DQ MC; Steven Venter DQ DQ MC; Jannes Sik DQ DQ MC

WD Stefan Visage 79 WD MC; Artur Pereira 86 WD MC; Darren Millington 100 WD MC


Article by: Michael Vlismas

Johannesburg Golf

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