Halfway Toyota Margate Challenge ‘still the best tournament on the South Coast’

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Quintin van Jaarsveld

Margate Country Club was a hive of activity as it hosted another highly successful Halfway Toyota Shelly Beach Margate Challenge last week.

From a particularly memorable opening tee-off on Thursday morning to a jovial prize-giving on Saturday evening, a festive atmosphere reigned throughout the club’s marquee annual golf, bowls and bridge competition.

The honour of hitting the opening tee shot, handled so capably by Ray Nkonyeni Municipality mayor Cynthia Mqwebu over the last few years, this year fell on Brian Jones, the non-golfing dealer principal at Halfway Toyota Shelly Beach.

“The last time I hit a ball was about 30 years ago when I was invited to a tournament with one of our banks and I won Most Golf [aka Longest Walk] and about a month later, I played another one and won Most Golf again.

“That’s when I decided golf wasn’t for me, realising that you should put in a lot of practice before you try your luck on the course, so I stuck to squash ever since…you don’t have to walk so far to retrieve a squash ball,” Jones told eHowzit.

It turns out he didn’t have to walk too far to retrieve his golf ball either. With a bit of banter to boot, Jones hooked his shot into a nearby hedge.

“I was really nervous and I asked the guys how many attempts I can have because my biggest fear was having a freshy [missing the ball] and they said you’ll do alright. I managed to make contact, which is the main thing but I hooked it; if it wasn’t for that hedge, I think I would’ve hit one of my cars on display,” he said.

It was all in good fun – a memorable moment that set the tone for three days of fellowship between participants who came from all corners of the country to stake a claim for their share of the prizes valued over R75 000.

Sbu Ntozakhe and Koko Zithumane were the early pacesetters in the betterball stableford competition, leading the way with a first-round 62, but ultimately the duo had to settle for fourth place overall on 152 points.

All eyes were on the 16th hole on Saturday, where a hole-in-one would land a lucky golfer a Toyota Aygo X-Play. Emmanuel Mseleku came oh so close but the competition’s traditional top prize continued to elude players.

In a field of 80 players, Willie Xolo and Sandile Khazwayo took the overall honours on 160 points, Joan Minnaar and Elsie Pretorius placed second on 156 points and Alecia and Corjan Hilt finished third on 155 points.

The bowls competition featured 48 players and was so closely contested that Dora Vosloo, Brian and Jenny Rawlins and Gary Hess were tied with Annette Payne, Trevor Heywood, Alan and Alison Dinning after three rounds.

Vosloo’s team managed to pull through in round four to take the win on 113 points, with Payne’s team finishing second on 100 points.

Equally tough was the battle for third place between Peet van Rooyen, Louw Vermeulin, Susan van Rooyen and Charmain van Deventer and the team of Shane Nienaber, Dieter Scholz, Sandy Fergusson and Ross Fergusson.

In the end, Van Rooyen’s team (94) edged Nienaber’s team (92) by just two points in the last round. The daily session prizes went to Team Maggs, Team Lancaster and Team Stander.

“Thanks to all participants for the spirit that this tournament was played in and for making it such a success, and a very special thanks to all the helpers that worked so hard to make it all happen,” commented Margate Country Club’s Clive Edmundson.

The bridge competition was contested by 52 players and saw Roger Wilson and Brian Thomas hold off Mike and Lynn Carr by two points to come out on top on 60.

“The event went off very well and was enjoyed by all,” Margate Country Club chairman Derek Egerton told eHowzit. “The prize display and décor for the final prize-giving was nothing short of magnificent and it’s still the best tournament on the South Coast.

“We received nothing but accolades from participants for a great three days and already have three new hole sponsors. We once again thank Halfway Toyota Shelly Beach for this, the fifth consecutive Margate Challenge they have sponsored, and look forward to many more. I am sure that Brian was very pleased with his model Toyota car. Their support is very much appreciated.”

Halfway Toyota Shelly Beach marketing manager Chris Jones echoed Egerton’s sentiments that it was a great event. “It went really well. The organisers, especially the ladies with the décor, went out of their way and everything went smoothly.

“You can see everyone who participated have a real passion for the club and the camaraderie was great. It’s one of the events on the calendar locals look forward to and it was clear that everyone enjoyed it.”

Photo: Martiens Olivier (Margate Country Club bowls president) with bowls winners Brian Rawlins (skip), Jenny Rawlins (third), Dora Vosloo (lead) and Gary Hess (second).

Halfway Toyota Shelly Beach Margate Challenge golf results:

Day One (Thursday 20 April):
1st: Sbu Ntozakhe and Koko Zithumane – 62 pts
2nd: Alecia Hilt and Corjan Hilt – 58 pts
3rd: Elvis Khawula and Kumban Gengan – 56 pts oco
Nearest to Pins: D. Goldhill (2nd), Heinrich Espach (4th), Willie Xolo (8th), Jack Venter (11th) and Tony Ford (16th).
Longest Drives on 17th: Ladies: Elsie Pretorius; Men: Sandile Khazwayo

Day Two (Friday 21 April):
1st: Sandile Khazwayo and Willie Xolo – 58 pts
2nd: Ulric Gous and Robert Mavundla – 57 pts
3rd: Wilna Olkers and Harold Olkers – 54 pts oco
Nearest to Pins:  2nd: Mike Geiger (2nd), Wilna Olkers (4th), Koos Jacobs (8th), Gonnie Naidu (11th), Alecia Hilt (16th
Longest Drives on 17th: Ladies: Gina Venter; Men: Sandile Khazwayo

Day Three (Saturday 22 April):

1st: Joan Minnaar and Elsie Pretorius – 50 pts
2nd: Willie Xolo and Sandile Khazwayo – 47 pts
3rd: Flip Fourie and Fanie Terblanche – 46 pts oco
Nearest to Pins sponsored by La Cappanina: Deon Meyer (2nd), Emmanuel Mseleku (4th), Flip Fourie (8th), Mike Geiger (11th), Emmanuel Mseleku (16th)

1st: Willie Xolo and Sandile Khazwayo – 160 pts
2nd: Joan Minnaar and Elsie Pretorius – 156 pts
3rd: Alecia Hilt and Corjan Hilt – 155 pts
4th: Sbu Ntozakhe and Koko Zithumane – 152 pts
5th: Elvis Khawula and Kumban Gengan – 150 pts
6th: Ramesh Rajpal and Gonnie Naidu – 147 pts oco

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