Golf

Double SA joy in double playoff at SAJI

2017-03-10 11:17
Woo-Ju Son and Wilco Nienaber (Shaun Roy/Image SA)

Durbanville - In an amazing twist of fate, both the defending champions in this year’s Curro South African Juniors International (SAJI) found themselves in the heat of the battle as the final rounds in both the girls and boys competitions went into "extra-time" on Thursday.

Defending champion Garrick Higgo from Boland came from behind to tie overnight leader Wilco Nienaber from Free State, while Woo Ju-Son from Johannesburg played catch-up and caught Caitlyn Macnab from Ekurhuleni to tussle for back-to-back victories in the seventh edition of the Global Junior Golf Tour event at Durbanville Golf Club.

In the double playoff, Nienaber denied Higgo when he drove his tee shot an incredible 355 metres to set up a birdie at the 18th hole, while Son edged out Macnab at the second extra hole.

Boys competition

Big-hitting Nienaber started out with a three-shot lead at eight under over second-placed Higgo and it was a battle royal between the pair. They traded the lead through the first nine holes, with Higgo making up ground with four birdies at one, three, five and six to go with a bogey four at the fourth.

The would-be-champion made a poor start and was two-over through three holes courtesy of back-to-back bogeys at two and three. He birdied both par fives at five and six, but his lead at the turn was trimmed to a single shot. 

Higgo kept the pressure up on the inward loop with consecutive birdies at 10 and 11 to seize the advantage. Western Province’s Luca Filippi had moved into contention in third place at five-under, but the rest of the top-10 were left to watch on while battling out for bragging rights.

Higgo signed for a six-under 66, while Nienaber, who birdied 15 and 16 to stay alive, signed for a 69. The top pair played outstanding golf and a playoff was a fitting ending to decide the outcome after both players tied at 11-under-par 205.

Nienaber’s power off the tee set him for the win at the first extra hole. His booming drive finished just short of the 18th green, while Higgo found the putting surface with his approach shot and was less than two metres from the cup.

Nienaber left his slightly uphill putt for eagle short, but Higgo missed his downhill effort and the Bloemfontein golfer only had to step forward and tap-in for birdie to seal the win.

“I’m stoked to have won,” Nienaber said.

“What a battle with Garrick. He played awesome golf and posted the best round of the tournament. I think patience over the three days got me over the line.”

Higgo, as always, was a gentleman in defeat.

“Firstly, well done to Wilco, he played awesome golf and deserved the victory,” said Higgo.

“I gave it my best shot and am proud to have put up such a brave defence.”  

Filippi finished alone in third on five-under-par 211 after closing with a two under 70.

Girls competition

For the first two days of the tournament plenty of wind made life difficult for the players, especially for the girls, who battled to beat par in Wednesday’s second round.

Macnab - a petite teenager with tremendous power off the tee - drew on the experiences of competing in four events on the Sunshine Ladies Tour to edge into the first round lead and began the final round with a two shot cushion over Son.

She had never won a tournament before, but she more than held her own in terms coming into the biggest tournament of its kind in Africa. The chance to lead from start to finish was there, but Macnab came up just one shot short after posting a two-over 74 with six bogeys and four birdies.

Son battled to find rhythm over the first two rounds but the country’s top ranked junior hung in bravely with so much riding on the outcome.  Also small in stature, the defending champion played in the final grouping for the day and made it count, putting Macnab under pressure from the start. She never gave in in the face of adversity and made a fist of it by posting an even-par 72 with two birdies and two bogeys.

The pair - who both celebrated their 15th birthdays on February 18 - tied at one-over-par 217, but Son complete a successful defence in her sixth appearance with a par on their second trip down the 18th in the playoff.

“I am so chuffed right now,” said Ju-Son.

“Somehow I was able to stay in contention without playing my best golf and it was good enough at the end. Caitlyn played great throughout and she should be very proud of her performance.”

Macnab paid tribute to Woo.

“To win for the second year in a row is an amazing achievement. She played well when it mattered most. I didn’t play well today and paid the price. I’m really disappointed, but that’s the way it goes,” she said.        

Jihye Park from Australia carded a 73 to complete the podium with a total score of two over 218.

Boys competition - final results:

205 - Wilco Nienaber 69 67 69 (playoff, first extra hole), Garrick Higgo 69 70 66

211 - Luca Filippi 71 70 70

214 - Jayden Schaper 72 70 72; Samuel Simpson 69 75 70

216 - Alexandre Lasalarie FRA 67 75 74

217 - Dehan Joubert 75 68 74; Franklin Manchest 72 76 69; Robin Williams GBR 72 73 72; Roman Kumpost CZE 71 74 72

218 - David Amm ZIM 71 72 75

221 - Janco Joel Maritz 76 72 73; Ayden Senger 75 75 71; Nicolai Rogen Jensen DEN 75 73 73; Martin Vorster 73 76 72; Liam Cloete 73 74 74; Jason Shaun Hale 73 74 74; Sebasian Wiis DEN 70 76 75

222 - Dandre Spies 75 75 72; Oliver Goldhill 71 73 78

223 - Chris Woollam 74 75 74; Alex van Wyk 74 71 78; Warwick Purchase 73 74 76; Shaun Jones 70 79 74

224 - Kieron van Wyk 76 74 74; Jordan Duminy 75 73 76; Andre Chong SIN 74 77 73; Carlo Heunis 74 76 74; Brandon Geere 70 78 76

225 - Cole Stevens 77 76 72; Joshua Smedema 75 74 76; Liam van Deventer 74 79 72; Barend Botha 72 74 79

226 - Luke Pienaar 78 74 74; Xander Prinsloo 75 72 79; Angus Klintworth 73 75 78; Jakub Hrinda 72 82 72; Christiaan Burke 72 79 75

227 - Hilmi Mallick 81 73 73; Tyler Duncan AUS 77 76 74; Adam Samnegård SWE 75 79 73; Nikhil Rama 75 77 75

228 - Jens Christian Tvergaard DEN 78 79 71; Nikhil Gopal 73 78 77

229 - Felix Krammer GER 77 79 73; Felix Schoeffthaler AUT 77 76 76

230 - Loic Heurtin FRA 79 75 76; Ben van Wyk 77 80 73; Sascha Derp AUT 77 77 76; Justin Kersten ZIM 74 76 80; Hampus Björkman SWE 73 80 77

231 - Aidon Willemse 78 78 75; Carl Mwale 76 78 77; Ian Botha 76 76 79; Lisanthan Moodley 72 81 78

232 - Freddie Spencer 77 80 75

233 - Nash de Klerk 78 78 77; Thomas Heaton AUS 75 82 76

234 - NJ Botha 80 76 78; Daniel Cronje 76 80 78; Antoine Sale 74 79 81; Liam Millard 73 82 79

235 - Titouan Berny 77 80 78

236 - Devon Whitaker 85 77 74; Riaan Rooi 82 76 78; Kifentse Nukeri 79 81 76; Alessio Graziani 76 79 81

237 - Sebastian Wernli GER 82 78 77; Louis Tee SIN 81 81 75; Francois Cilliers 80 78 79; Alessio Battista ITA 79 83 75; Hannes Hilburger GER 78 76 83

238 - Jakub Urbanski POL 82 79 77; Tyran Snyders 81 81 76; Sean Cronje 81 76 81; Jeremy Feist AUT 77 80 81

239 - Tobias Schartelmueller AUT 81 79 79; Romain Legentil 80 78 81; Wayne Profit 77 82 80

240 - Eckart Kassier 82 81 77; Miles Taylor 81 81 78; Gheran Hattingh 78 81 81

241 - Paul Kamml AUT 77 84 80; Chandler Shaw 76 78 87

242 - Alvar Zwahlen SUI 82 81 79

244 - Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa ZIM 79 83 82

245 - Connor de Groote 83 76 86; Keyan Loubser 82 79 84; Aidil Nor Amani Norazman Bin SIN 82 78 85

246 - Matthew McCarthy

247 - Vuylowethu Dlamini 83 82 82

248 - Henco Rieckert 83 83 82; Bastian Buhk GER 80 88 80

249 - Marcus Taylor 86 86 77; William Geach ZIM 81 82 86

250 - Johannes Hounsgaard GER 84 82 84

251 - Mikolaj Kniaginin POL 88 81 82

253 - Alexander van der Merwe 81 88 84

254 - Nikolaus Rudolf AUT 88 84 82; Joshua Wiese 85 80 89; Duvan Pretorius 83 87 84

256 - Henrik Mårtensson SWE 82 88 86

258 - Lorenzo Laböck GER 92 82 84

261 - Janco Fivaz 89 91 81

267 - Aryaman Mohan ZAM 93 89 85

Girls competition - final results:

217 - Woo-Ju Son 72 73 72 (playoff, second extra hole); Caitlyn Macnab 68 75 74

218 - Jihye Park AUS 71 74 73

225 - Greta Minetto ITA 72 76 77

226 - Cloe Grand 77 75 74; Cecilie B.S Nielsen DEN 74 74 78

228 - Rhianna-Maree Lewis AUS 74 81 73

232 - Nicole Polivchak POL 77 80 75

234 - Laila Hrindova 79 78 77

235 - Casandra Hall 80 80 75; Kaiyuree Moodley 76 78 81; Anna Höybye Schmidt DEN 75 83 77

236 - Chiara Contomathios 75 80 81

237 - Kaleigh Telfer 79 82 76; Kiera Floyd 74 83 80

240 - Crystal Beukes 79 81 80; Cara Ford 77 80 83

241 - Dorota Zalewska POL 82 79 80

242 - Eva-Lucia Lindner GER 81 83 78; Kelsey Nicholas 80 84 78

243 - Nikoline Brenøe-Mouritzen DEN 83 79 81; Marie-Louise Tommerup DEN 80 82 81

244 - Jordan Rothman 83 82 79

245 - Annemieke Campo NED 83 82 80

247 - Jahaanvie Walia ZAM 88 81 78; Lisa Marie Schumacher GER 83 80 84; Sophie-Charlott Hempel GER 79 84 84

249 - Nadia Van der Westhuizen 85 83 81; Nicole Shue Ying Mok SIN 83 86 80

253 - Katrine Roepstorff DEN 87 85 81

254 - Vivien Rosner GER 82 89 83; Aaliyah Abrahams 81 88 85

256 - Kim Turgut 86 86 84

258 - Patrizia Schaefer GER 91 84 83

260 - Denise Mei Yan Wong SIN 92 82 86

261 - Lisa Papitsch 87 86 88

264 - Noluthando Mdanda 85 89 90

265 - Hijke Pretorius 91 86 88; Amanda Thybo Bjerre Nielsen DEN 86 90 89

267 - Marietta Sandra Ruhl GER 88 92 87

281 - Marine Legentil 98 93 90

WD Catherine Lau 74 84 WD; Kajal Mistry WD

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