Club champion Ganes Munsamy is congratulated by golf captain Greg Hornby.
Quintin van Jaarsveld
It was the duo’s maiden strokeplay club titles and ascended them to the highest honour in club golf after having previously won the matchplay club silverware.
Munsamy, who’s won the last two matchplay club championships, added the strokeplay title to his résumé on 152 gross after a composed two days of golf.
“After two matchplay titles, I didn’t think I could win the strokeplay, so I feel ecstatic. Both titles is a major feather in any one’s cap and I’m excited that I have achieved both,” Munsamy told eHowzit.
Munsamy kept his best for last as he hit two excellent shots during Sunday’s final round, the first his approach on 16 and the second his tee shot on 17. Both were long and into the wind and finished just over a metre from the flag.
“I felt a sense of tremendous accomplishment walking down the 18th hole with a two-stroke lead, which made me feel comfortable that my hard work over the weekend had been fruitful.”
It was an especially rewarding win as it came after Munsamy had narrowly lost out on the A division spoils the last two years. With his newly won strokeplay silverware in the bag, Munsamy admits matchplay remains his preferred format.
“I prefer the matchplay format where I can take chances and go for my shot. Strokeplay brings about too much unnecessary anxiety and stress and you have to have good course management to complete the hole with a respectable score.”
Gavin van Wyk succeeded Graham Fabricius as A division winner on 153, Daan Swanepoel won the B division on 158, succeeding last year’s winner Ian Stewart, Dr Ayoob Bux won the C division for the second consecutive year on 178 and Ken Marshall succeeded Dave Milne as veterans division winner on 83 points.
The ladies competition also produced plenty of highlights and saw the club’s fastest rising star Currie claim the title on 149 gross after missing out to Kim Strauss by a solitary stroke last year.
“I am very chuffed and relieved that I have finally won the strokeplay club champs,” Currie, who clinched the club and provincial matchplay titles last year, told eHowzit.
“I am very proud to have my name on the trophy with my fellow Sheppie ladies. Winning the Sheppie club champs has always been on my list of goals and I have finally won it.”
The 2015 KwaZulu-Natal Ladies Golf Association Order of Merit winner fired on all cylinders on Saturday morning and sat pretty on two-under up until the 14th. She tripled 15 but recovered well with pars on the final three holes to finish one-over for the day.
“I felt I was playing some of my best golf, so I was disappointed because I made a silly error that cost me a really good round, but I did not let it get me down.”
Last year’s gold division winner started Sunday on a shaky note as she ballooned to four-over on the front nine, however, she turned the corner with a birdie on 10, which she said afterwards did wonders for her confidence.
Her mental strength was on display for the remainder of the business end of the tournament as she saved par after finding the water on 12. A bogey on 13 was her last dropped shot as she parred 14 through 18 to complete the double.
“After my first nine holes, it really could have gone downhill,” she admitted. “It got to me…I couldn’t putt and I wasn’t hitting the ball nearly as well as the day before. I felt as if my game was falling apart but fortunately I was able to keep my cool.”
Former hockey ace Strauss (155) won the gold division, 2014 champion Yzelle Greyling (171) won the silver division after finishing as the runner-up in this category last year, Beryl Olden (182) added the bronze club title to the provincial bronze matchplay title she won last month and Liana Klopper (70 points) clinched the copper spoils.