Sunshine Tour

Cool-hand Kingston closes out SA Senior Open victory

2019-10-25 19:06
ames Kingston (Phote: Accelerate Sport)
James Kingston sealed a nine-shot victory in the SA Senior Open, hosted by Bitou Municipality, with a birdie finish at Plettenberg Bay Country Club (Photo: Accelerate Sport)

Cape Town - James Kingston became a two-time SA national champion after winning the SA Senior Open, hosted by Bitou Municipality, in emphatic style with a birdie finish at Plettenberg Bay Country Club on Friday.

The 2007 SA Open winner celebrated his 19th victory and maiden senior win on seven-under-par 281, sealing a nine-shot victory with a round of one-under-par 71.

The 53-year-old Potchefstroom golfer headed into the final day with a commanding eight shot cushion and never came under pressure from the chasing pack, led by two-time former champion Mark McNulty.

He made amends for a lone bogey on the par four fifth with his first birdie at the par five seventh and ended a run of straight pars with a second gain on the closing hole.

“Winning the double is very special,” said a smiling Kingston. “I realised about halfway down the back nine that I was going to win this and that’s the first time I started to relax and enjoy it. It’s not as easy as it sounds to start with a big lead. Mentally, I just put it out of my mind. I started the day level with the other guys so I could stay in the moment and play my normal game.”

Reigning Sunshine Senior Tour Order of Merit leader Kevin Stone made an early move with birdies on the first and third holes, which helped Kingston to keep his mind focussed.

“Kevin got out of the blocks quickly and he had a birdie putt on the fourth to go three-under and I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere; I was just making pars,” said Kingston. “When I dropped on the fifth and he hit it close again, I realised what Mr Player meant when he messaged me and said there is no such thing as a lead. A seven or eight shot lead could quickly turn into three of four.

“I carried on putting the ball in the fairway and on the green and making free pars and that helped me to stay clear and focussed. I hit a couple of really good shots, while Mark and Kevin made a few mistakes on the back, which surprised me. That actually gave me the freedom to enjoy the last couple of holes.

“Dale Hayes has a saying: “you always want to be so far ahead coming up the last that you can choke in peace.” For once in my life, I actually experienced that. It was really nice.”

Kingston may have stamped his authority on the tournament with earlier rounds of 72, 66 and 72, but his most enjoyable moment undoubtedly came on the 18th green when he boxed a three-footer for birdie in front of the appreciative crowd.

“I really wanted to shoot under par today,” he said. “I know it didn’t matter, but making birdie on the last was pretty important to me and it felt good to put that four on my card.

“It’s been such an incredible week. This place has a very special place in my heart, because we came down here on holiday for so many years. To be presented with a course in such pristine condition and to go home with the trophy is really amazing.”

A final round 69 boosted two-time Staysure champion Chris Williams to second on two-over, while  McNulty, Bobby Lincoln and Neil Cheetham from England tied for third on four-over after carding respective rounds of 74, 72 and 72.

Final Result

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified:

281 James Kingston 72 66 72 71

290 Chris Williams 79 71 71 69

292 Bobby Lincoln 77 72 71 72; Neil Cheetham ENG 74 75 71 72; Mark McNulty 72 70 76 74

293 Kevin Stone 73 73 73 74

295 Ian Palmer 75 79 69 72; Roger Wessels 72 74 76 73

297 Theo Dauwa 76 77 74 70

298 Mark Bright 79 72 78 69; Mike Quinn 71 73 76 78

299 Gary Thompson 76 78 77 68

300 Steve van Vuuren 79 71 75 75; Rob Wiederkehr 76 76 77 71; A P Botes 68 75 78 79

301 Nic Henning 76 76 75 74; Andre Cruse 72 76 72 81

302 Chris Davison 81 77 72 72

303 Michael Green 76 77 75 75; Callie Swart 74 77 73 79

306 Johan Wolfaardt 80 75 74 77; Rocky Tlhabanyane 75 71 81 79

309 Mokgeteng Mashego 77 78 74 80; Henry Roodt 76 83 75 75; Roy da Costa POR 73 77 82 77

311 Laurison Mahlangu 81 80 75 75; Solly Mokgare 75 76 82 78

312 Gerhard Scheepers 79 81 81 71; Roger Govender 79 75 84 74; Langley Perrins 76 76 78 82

313 Akil Yousuf 81 76 80 76; Didier Plassan 80 76 81 76; Dick Ndebele 79 75 80 79; Robbie Sham 77 77 81 78

315 Wayne Bradley 80 82 77 76; Craig Lewthwaite 74 81 81 79

316 Jeff Hawkes 81 80 77 78

317 Angus Dickson 81 81 75 80; Cliff Barnard 77 85 75 80

318 Peter Banda ZIM 76 80 77 85

320 Rob van Velzen 82 80 75 83; Adi van der Walt 80 80 80 80; Veli Hlophe 79 81 78 82; Andrew Barnard 78 79 88 75; Ranjith Singh 75 75 89 81

321 Barry Bothma 81 77 82 81

323 Neville Clarke 81 79 81 82; Vaughan Fallick 79 81 82 81; Johan Engelbrecht 77 85 78 83

324 Mike de Villiers 85 81 78 80

328 Matt Mattysen 85 80 85 78; Norman Mashaba 83 84 81 80; Andre Pistorius 83 81 80 84

330 Brad Diffenthal 80 89 76 85

331 Lindley Stallenberg 89 81 80 81; Thomas Mhlambi 87 79 82 83; Andre Mynhardt (A) 78 85 90 78

334 David Kleinbooi 80 88 88 78

336 Eddie Joubert 83 86 85 82

341 Freddie Mkwanazi 90 79 90 82

351 Kevin Smith 88 86 81 96

352 Nathan Maluleka 91 90 86 85; Andries Prinsloo 86 85 93 88

353 Jacob Lekoto 95 89 80 89

358 Arnie Kemp 91 94 85 88

359 Brett Cornish 83 85 93 98

362 Norman Maharaj 93 95 91 83

365 Jerry Lekoto 99 86 93 87

387 Joe Mokoena 95 97 99 96

WD Gregory Mc Cree 94 85 84 WD; Eddie Jackson 89 86 WD WD; Bheki Ngubane 87 WD WD WD

 

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Vote

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.