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Gounden runs up KZN double at Bryanston

14 Jul 2015

KwaZulu-Natal golfer Aneurin Gounden won the 2015 Nomads National Order of Merit at Bryanston Country Club; credit SAGA.

Aneurin Gounden claimed his first national junior title in swashbuckling style at Bryanston Country Club on Tuesday. The 17-year-old Mount Edgecombe golfer drained a curvaceous forty foot downhill putt for birdie at the last hole to close with a 70 and lift the Nomads National Order of Merit title by three strokes on three under 141.

The victory follows on the heels of Gounden’s 2014 SA Under-19 Inter-Provincial team-mate Matt Saulez, who celebrated his first national breakthrough in the Nomads National Order of Merit Coastal event at St Francis Links in June.

Success was particularly sweet after the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation player came up short in two events on the KZN circuit recently.

“It almost feels like I saved my best just for this week,” Gounden said.

“I led the KZN Invitational, but I choked and shot a 75 in the final round. Last week I lost the Derek Suddards Trophy in a play-off to Vikesh Singh. Both those losses stung and I really wanted to win this week to get that first national victory under my belt.”

Gounden opened with a 71 and slept on a one stroke lead.

He took advantage of two par five opening holes to widen the gap on the field.

“Birdies are hard to come by on this course, so you have to try and birdie the first two holes,” he said.

“They were both drivable today and the birdies set me up nicely for the rest of the round.”

He parred his way to the turn, but selected the wrong club at the par-three 10th and paid for his mistake with a bogey.

“I went in with a five-iron, but I hit it way too long and couldn’t up and down to save par,” he said.

“The greens were extremely hard and not receptive at all. If you missed the green on the wrong side, you were in trouble. After 10, I didn’t take any chances. I just tried to par every hole.”

Gounden arrived at the par-four 18th with a one stroke lead after seven straight pars.

“I had a good tee shot and had 120 meters left to the pin,” he said.

“I took a gap-wedge in, but I left myself with an almost impossible putt for birdie. It was at least 40 feet, downhill all the way with a massive right to left curve.

“I just wanted to lag it close, but I watched the ball gather speed. I thought for sure it would run right past the hole, but then it dropped for birdie.

“The best way to say thank you to everyone who supports and believes in you is by winning.

“I dedicate this victory to my parents and my coach Mr George Harvey and to Mr Ernie Els, Mr Hasso Plattner and Mr Hannes van Niekerk from the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation.

“The juniors are really thankful to the Nomads Golf Club of South Africa for sponsorship junior golf and the South African Golf Association for giving us so many events to compete in.

“And I have to thank the members of Bryanston Golf Club for giving up their course for us.”

Mostert fired a final round 68 to vault to second, while recent Dimension Data Junior Open champion Marco Steyn from Central Gauteng closed with a  72 to take third on 145.

Therion Nel from Free State and Gauteng North’s Keegan McLachlan both returned 72s to tie for fourth on 146.

FINAL RESULT – TOP 20
141 Anuerin Gounden 71 70
144 Dylan Mostert 76 68
145 Marco Steyn 73 72
146 Keegan Mclachlan 74 72; Therion Nel 74 72
147 Werner Deyzel 73 74
148 Ruan Pretorius 75 73
149 Otto van Buynder 77 72; Lourens J van Vuuren 77 72; Clifford Thompson 73 76; Bryce Leach 72 77
150 Tristan Brice 75 75
151 Gregory Mckay 77 74; Alex van Wyk 76 75
152 Steven le Roux 80 72; Slade Pickering 79 73; Wilco Nienaber 79 73; Matt Saulez 78 74; Caylum Boon 77 75; Etienne J van Rensburg 76 76; Chris Woollam 74 78; Kyle Barker 73 79

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

 

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