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Homann claims SA Mid-Amateur Championship victory

18 May 2012

Neil Homann claimed a resounding three stroke victory at the SA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Championship, sponsored by Volvo

Overnight leader Neil Homann continued his dream run at Vaal de Grace on Friday with a resounding three shot victory in the SA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play Championship, sponsored by Volvo.

The 42-year-old Randpark golfer took command of the championship on day two and began the final round with a two stroke over Graeme Watson, Jan Delport and Josef Fourie.

Homann had a few hiccups but held his nerve to carve out a steady two-under-par 70 for a winning total of seven-under-par 281.

Ekurhuleni’s Watson came home in 71 strokes to finish sole second on 284, one shot clear of Tyrol Auret from Ebotse, who also carded a 71. Delport closed with a 72 to slip to sole fourth on 286 while Fourie took ninth spot on 289 after a disappointing 76.

Homann said it was something special to lift the SA Mid-Amateur trophy nearly 20 years after he won the 1994 SA Stroke Play Championship at Royal Cape Golf Club.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” the former professional said. “I never relaxed until I made that birdie at 17th and knew I had a three shot lead. I knew all I needed to do was to get it down the middle of the fairway because three-putts could still win it for me.”

The overnight leader overcame a bogey at the first with a brace of birdies at the fourth and fifth holes and after two more birdies at the eighth and 10th, was back in command on eight under.

Delport from State Mines got to seven under and within a shot of the leader through eight holes, but slipped to five under after back-to-back bogeys at the ninth and 10th.

Watson, who also bogeyed the first, also got to five under with birdies at the fourth, seventh and 11th.

Suddenly it looked like the expected contest between the leading players was on after Homann bogeyed the 12th and 13th, but his challengers failed to step up.

While Homann got back on course with a par at 14 and birdie at the par-four 15th, Watson dropped a shot at the par-four 13th and slipped to four under and Delport completely left the contest when he slipped to three under after a double-bogey seven the 14th.

Homann knew the last few holes would be tough, especially playing with Watson - already a two-time winner this season – who birdied the 16th.

“After I bogeyed the 16th, I was just one shot ahead with two holes to play,” he said. “I knew Graeme could get birdies at the closing holes, but once I made a great putt at the 17th for birdie and he bogeyed the hole, I was three shots clear standing on the 18th tee.

“I had a chance a couple of years ago to win the title at De Zalze, but I messed up the last hole. I didn’t want that to happen again.”

So he did it by the book.

“I hit a solid tee shot down the fairway, a really good six-iron approach into the green and tapped in for par,” he said. “This time I made sure.”

Leading final results:

281 Neil Homann (Randpark Golf Club) 70 71 70 70

284 Graeme Watson (Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate) 73 74 66 71

285 Tyrol Auret (Ebotse Golf & Country Estate) 74 68 72 71

286 Jan Delport (State Mines Country Club) 72 71 70 73

287 Kevin Sharp (Glendower Golf Club) 75 73 68 71

288 Louis Jonch (Irene Country Club) 71 78 70 69

288 John Kew (East London Golf Club) 76 69 73 70

288 Jaco Rall (Ebotse Golf & Country Estate) 70 75 71 72

289 Josef Fourie (Jan Kemp Golf Club) 72 72 69 76

290 Alexander Cooper (Wingate Park Country Club) 72 73 72 73

291 Jock Wellington (Kyalami Country Club) 72 76 72 71

293 Rowan du  Preez (Benoni Lake Country Club) 78 74 69 72

293 Charl van Heyningen (Irene Country Club) 68 75 72 78

294 Henk Geldenhuys (Tzaneen Golf Club) 76 74 73 71

294 Tony Watson (Fancourt) 76 74 73 71

294 Lawrence Joubert (Pollak Park Golf Club) 74 73 73 74

295 Craig Bell (Kempton Park Country Club) 72 75 74 74

295 Andre van Dyk (Langebaan Golf & Sports Club) 75 72 71 77

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