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Class act Konzani wins Indwe SA Senior Stroke Play

23 Oct 2015

2015 champion David Konzani and Richard Adams from Indwe Risk Services; credit Michael Sheehan.

David Konzani claimed the Indwe Risk Services SA Senior Amateur Stroke Play Championship in swashbuckling style at Humewood Golf Club on Friday.

Having gained a considerable advantage earlier rounds of 67, 70 and 74, the 55-year-old Port Elizabeth golfer continued in the same vein in the final round to score a runaway 12-shot victory at his home course.

Showing no sign of nerves, Konzani overcame a stumble around the turn with a hat-trick of birdies down the straight to post a joint best-of-the-day one under 71.

His wire-to-wire victory at six-under-par 282 left him well clear of second-placed Brian Mamphies from Parow Golf Club, who closed with a 75, while William Skinner and 2014 champion Mellette Hendrikse from Gauteng North finished third on 295 with respective rounds of 72 and 71.

Konzani signalled his potential to win the flagship tournament this year by rising to the number two spot in the senior rankings with a victory, three runner-up and four top five finishes in eight starts.

Now, having conquered the country’s greatest links, the diminutive Konzani ended Hendrikse’s two year reign at the top.

“This is just incredible,” said the delighted champion.

“This is the one I’ve been wanting to win since I joined the senior ranks and I was up there from start to finish. It was a really long week and the wind on Tuesday knocked the stuffing out of us, but I knuckled down, stuck to my game plan and pulled it through.”

Konzani began the final round with a seven stroke lead and was still well clear of the chasing park through nine holes, but he got too clever at the par-four 10th.

“There are two really tough holes – 10 and 13 – on this course,” he said.

“I always play for a bogey at 10, but I tried to force an unplayable putt into the hole and ended up three-putting. The birdie at 11 took some of the sting away and after par at 13, I felt I had taken care of that double at 10.

“I two-putted for birdie at 15, played the 16th exactly as I planned and knocked in the four-footer for birdie and drained an eight-footer for birdie at 17. When we reached 18, my playing partners and the group walking with us were all shouting birdie, birdie.

“That hole killed me all week, but I tried to beat it. I was on the green for two, but missed the birdie putt. It felt great to make par, though, in front of all the people cheering me on.”

Konzani describes the Indwe Risk Services SA Senior Amateur Stroke Play victory as the biggest achievement of career.

“I’ve always thought of this event as my Major and when I saw all the people around the green at 18, it really hit home how big this is,” he said.

“Helping Eastern Province to win promotion at the SA Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial last week was unbelievable, but this really is a cherry on top. I don’t think I will stop smiling for a week.

“We owe a lot to Peter Olyott and Lynn van As from Indwe Risk Services for giving us seniors this fantastic ‘mulligan’. It took me a lot of years to get here and this is huge for me. I am thankful to Indwe for making this possible.”

Konzani’s second playing partner, Kevin Curren, was disqualified after signing for an incorrect scorecard.

“I hope the youngsters take a lesson out of this, because it’s a great pity what happened to Kevin,” Konzani said. “Kevin signed for a three instead of a four at 14 and it not only cost him a top five finish, but a lot more when you start looking at travel, accommodation, meals, etc.

“Never forget this - your scorecard is the most important part of your round. Always take your time, check and double check your scores.”

For the full results, click HERE

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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