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Umthakathi Konzani is King of the Castle

22 Oct 2015

David Konzani; credit Gregory de Doncker.

Just a couple of holes into the third round of the Indwe Risk Services SA Senior Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Humewood Golf Club, former SA tennis ace Kevin Curren and Brian Mampies began calling their playing partner ‘Umthakathi’.

“Brian and I were treated to an absolutely world class exhibition,” said Curren.

“David Konzani is a magician around the greens. It’s only when you play with him that you can truly appreciate his incredible short game skills. It’s no wonder he is running away with the championship.”

Konzani carded rounds of 67 and 70 to carry a seven stroke lead into the third round.

He mixed 14 pars with a birdie and three bogeys to sign for two over 74 and moved to five under 211 and the diminutive 55-year-old from Port Elizabeth leads by eight strokes from Mampies and Curren.

“David shot two under in windy conditions yesterday,” Curren said.

The average score was 83, so you have to tip your hat to him. Today, the wind was pretty mild, but no-one really made a move. David must have upped-and-downed six or seven times to save par and the way he handles himself around the greens is as good as any pro I’ve seen.”

Curren took second place with an opening 69 and followed with a second round 75 to hold on to share of second on Thursday.

The Durban Country Club player looked good to finish in second on his own, but soft bogeys at 17 and 18 saw him in a tie with Mampies from Parow Golf Club.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be in this position,” Curren said.

“I don’t think it matters to Brian and I that we are playing for second place. We will have front row seats to David’s victory and hopefully his prowess at Humewood rubs off on us.

“You really have to think your way around this course and strategize your shots. Brian putted extremely well and he made two great birdies at 14 and 15 to finish with a 71. It was a nice contest out there and I’m looking forward to more of the same tomorrow.”

William Skinner, Schalk Naude and Mzuyanda Zingela finished a distant 12 strokes behind the third round leader.

Gauteng North senior Skinner signed for a 70 and Naude from Randpark returned a 71, while Zingela from Uitenhage eagled the par-five 17th on his way to a 73 and a share of the bus at seven over.

Zingela was not in the least surprised that his premier and mid-amateur Inter-Provincial partner was streaks ahead of the field.

“I told the guys at the KwaZulu-Natal events in September that anyone who wanted to win the Indwe Risk Services SA Senior Amateur Stroke Play Championship this year would have to beat David, including me,” he said.

“He knows this course and his game is perfectly suited to this layout. He is a great ball striker, but his short game is something else. It’s going to be of fun watching him win this championship on Friday.

“Hopefully my own putter warms up and I can sink a few to give Eastern Province a one-two finish.”

And the man of the hour?

“I had a great time out there with Kevin and Brian and I enjoyed the teasing,” Konzani said.

“The Indwe Risk Services SA Senior Amateur Stroke Play is my Major and I’ve been dreaming of winning this championship since I became a senior. We are at the business end of the championship and I can’t wait to achieve my dream.”

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

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