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Sensational win for Williams at SA Senior Open

19 Nov 2015

Modderfontein amateur Steven Williams won the SA Senior Open by two strokes at Blue Valley Golf Estate; credit PLG Events.

Modderfontein mid-amateur Steven Williams upstaged some of the country’s leading senior professionals to lift the prestigious South African Senior Open title at Blue Valley Golf Estate on Wednesday.

Williams lagged six shots off the pace from Rodger Govender at the start of the final round after posting rounds of 73 and 68 in the national championship.

He overhauled Govender with five birdies in the first six holes and threw down the gauntlet with further gains at 13 and 14. The 54-year-old Central Gauteng mid-amateur erased a late bogey at 17 with a birdie finish for a 68 to triumph by two strokes on seven-under-par 209.

Govender settled for second with rounds of 67, 68 and 76, while Ashley Roestoff finished alone in third on two under 214 after carding rounds of 68, 74 and 73.

Rocky Tlhabayane, who lost the SA Masters title in a play-off to Robbie Stewart a week ago, closed with a five under 67 to edge out Bobby Lincoln, Langley Perrins and Michael Green for fourth on even-par 216.

In 2013, Williams finished third behind older brother Chris when Hendrik Buhrmann won the esteemed championship.

He had lofty aspirations to beat his brother in 2014, but torn ligaments in his right hand meant spending many frustrating months on the bench.

“So Chris took advantage of my absence to win the SA Senior Open last year,” Williams joked.

“It’s probably a very good thing he is couldn’t make it, because if he saw me leading, he would have chased me to the bitter end.

“Ironically, while I was celebrating my victory here, Chris won the Sylvania BMW PGA Legends Pro-Am on the Australian PGA Legends Tour. Go figure!”

Williams said he took a lot of confidence from beating some of the biggest names in senior professional in South Africa.

“I am really, really pleased with this victory,” he said.

“When I returned to competitive golf this year, I led in three Mid-Amateur Opens, but I didn’t pull one of them through. I tied for second in Stellenbosch and had top 10 finishes at Westlake and East London Golf Club.

“I couldn’t help wondering if I lost my touch; I wondered if I still had what it takes to win. This victory has reinforced my self-belief. Hats off to Fidelity for their support and sponsorship of senior pro golf and for hosting this event.”

Two of the amateurs who competed in this year’s event was equally impressive.

Glendower senior Ramon Rahme carded rounds of 73, 77 and 68 to finish in eighth on two over, while Fanus van Niekerk tied for ninth on 222 with former Sunshine Tour winner Steve van Vuuren.

The Koro Creek senior registered rounds of 70, 75 and 77. 

SA SENIOR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP – FINAL RESULT
209 Steve Williams (ama) 73 68 68
211 Rodger Govender 68 67 76
214 Ashley Roestoff 67 74 73
216 Rocky Tlhabayane 79 70 67
217 Bobby Lincoln 78 69 70; Langley Perrins 69 76 72; Michael Green 70 74 73
218 Ramon Rahme (ama) 73 77 68
222 Fanus van Niekerk (ama) 70 75 77; Steve van Vuuren 75 76 71
223 Mike Williams 74 77 72; Neville Clarke 75 74 74
224 Andrew Jackson 77 77 70; Ian Palmer 79 73 72; Jabu Radebe 75 74 75; Jeff Hawkes 72 74 78
226 Derrick Lekoma 76 73 77; Rob van Velzen 75 79 72; 226 Solly Mokgare 78 74 74
227 Andre Pistorious 76 74 77; Brad Diffenthal 76 76 75; Derrick Landman 76 78 73; Gordon Millar 73 73 81; Solly Oliphant 73 73 81
228 Dick Ndebele 77 75 76; Mark Bright 78 76 74
229 Lance Froneman 73 77 79
230 Mokgeteng Mashego 76 80 74; Norman Mashaba 77 75 78; Paul van Biljon 76 80 74
234 Andy Shackleton 82 73 79
235 Benedict Matsoso 75 81 79; Charles Mavi 76 79 80; Daddy Naidoo 74 82 79
236 Mike Cameron 79 80 77
237 Freddie Mkwanazi 82 81 74; Ranjith Singh 76 84 77
239 Alan Smith 77 81 81

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

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