Zimbali - While the front-runners and favourites stumbled across the finish line, former Bafana Bafana captain Neil Tovey kept his composure on his final two holes to win a hotly contested MTN SuperSport Shootout at Zimbali Coastal Resort on Sunday, reports the supersport.com website.
In the betterball competition, former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher’s claw-like grip on the putter did the business on the home stretch, as he and course design guru Peter Matkovich pipped a nervy Neil Andrews and Mark Tovey at the very end.
The 10th edition of the premium amateur golf event on the social calendar
provided several twists and turns, as overnight individual leader Alex Maditsi,
of the Coca-Cola Company, leaked shots under the weight of expectation.
A three-putt on the 17th seriously dented Maditsi’s charge, as he added a
four-over net 75 to his opening score of 73. As the wind got up, and the
pressure increased on the back nine, last year’s champion and local resident,
Elliot Nkosi ramped up the pressure with a great second round.
Nkosi shot a one-under 71, to post a most competitive total of four-over on
the individual leaderboard. Tovey, who had started on the 10th hole, thus
avoiding the stress of the closing holes, realised he was in with a shot at the
7th hole, and momentarily lapsed.
“I suddenly saw the cameras following me, and realised that I might have a
chance. Unfortunately, I then double-bogeyed my next hole!”
But, he regained his touch, and closing pars on the uphill, par-four 8th, as
well as an immaculate approach into the par-three 9th, saw him record two
nerveless pars to pip Nkosi by just a solitary stroke.
“I probably had the best of the conditions on the back-nine, having started
that side, and I just knew that if I could finish par-par, it would give me a
great chance,” he admitted.
Nkosi finished in second, as he defended his title form a year ago with
typical gusto, and some masterful touch around the greens. Maditsi, who was
left to rue his form on the slick greens, finished in third, on five-over par.
In the betterball pairs, Boucher and Matkovich added a three-under 69 to
their excellent six-under on the first day, to outlast SuperSport commentator
Andrews and Mark Tovey of Nike Golf.
Andrews contrived to produce the shot of the day, as his nine-iron from 110
metres short of the 18th green hopped, bobbled and then nestled in just over a
metre from the flag, to give him a wonderful chance to pull off the biggest
surprise of the weekend.
But, with his own cameras watching, Andrews proceeded to three-putt
tragically, and that late lapse was enough to open the door for Boucher’s
Used to operating under pressure, Boucher rolled in key putts on the 14th,
16th and the 18th to settle the contest.
“It’s a good thing he received his trophy first,” quipped Matkovich.
“He was definitely the captain, and he carried me all round this course
Boucher paid tribute to the organisation and to the sponsors for another
“We didn’t have the best individual scores, but we dove-tailed really well
as a team, and that was the key,” he said of his victory with his experienced
“It’s always a wonderful experience, and this was the best one yet. The guys
do a wonderful job every year, and I just want to say thanks to Kevin Curren
and his entire team, and also to all of the team here at Zimbali,” he said.
1. Neil Tovey (6 HANDICAP) +3
2. Elliot Nkosi (3) +4
3. Alex Maditsi (8)+5
1. Mark Boucher/Peter Matkovich -9
2. Neil Andrews/Mark Tovey -8
3. Selwyn Nathan/Butch James– 7