Hackner takes SS Shootout
Sam Hackner with his winner's trophy. (Gallo Images)
Knysna - Sam Hackner's stunning opening round of nett 64 (an 80 off a 16 handicap) proved too much for the rest of the field as his 91 (nett 75) on Sunday was good enough for a three-shot victory at the Castle Lite SuperSport Shootout at Simola Golf and Country Estate in Knysna. GALLERY: Castle Lite SuperSport Shootout
Cricketing legend Shaun Pollock ran him closest on the weekend after an opening 69 (gross) off his two handicap on Saturday and then a 37 on the front nine on Sunday, but a couple of double bogeys saw the end of the challenge of the sportsmen for another year.
Investec's Hackner, the betterball winner with Selwyn Nathan last year, went to the next level in 2010 as his nett five-under total for the weekend was three better than SA's leading wicket taker of all time, who managed to birdie the last to break a five-way tie and clinch a deserved second place alone.
After the trials and tribulations of last year's wind-lashed weekend, the glorious weather that greeted the players was warmly received, something that Tournament Director Kevin Curren was quick to pick up on.
"Overall this year was a definite enhancement of the event. Everything was well received, from the golf course to the flow and logistics, and we have had some incredible feedback from the players," said Curren.
"We also had exceptional weather, which did help, but we are very pleased we have raised the bar once again.
"We were thrilled with the charity element too, and I can only say that all aspects of the week went very well."
Back to the golf, and a delighted Hackner shed some light on his fantastic efforts on the weekend - particularly Saturday's outstanding score.
"I hit it [the ball] short and the course wasn't playing very long, and then the benign conditions allowed me to hit greens that I wouldn't normally reach. I also putted very well.
"Today was not fantastic, but Shaun [Pollock] gave me 14 shots so it was just a case of managing myself around," said the victor. And was his playing partner intimidating?
"No, it was great playing with Shaun. The camaraderie of the whole experience is wonderful, so there are no bad pairings out there."
Pollock, ever gracious, was not too upset by his failure to follow up on his victory in the Absa SuperSkills on Friday. He was two-under par on his gross score through 27 holes, but the two doubles on holes 11 and 13 led to a gross 40 for his final nine.
"Basically, it was two bad swings - on 11 and 13 - which led to double bogeys, but I also didn't putt as well today [as Saturday]. But that's what makes golf great - just when you think you've got it....
"I knew I had to make birdie on the last to finish second, so I was happy to do that. It was nearly an eagle!"
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