Tom Lovett wins EG Champs

Posted by Gail Channell
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on Wednesday, 07 February 2018 in News

IMG 8665Tom Lovett

Thomas Lovett, from Prince's Grant Golf Club, wins the East Griquland Champs on Sunday 4 February. Photo credit: David Rush.

Tom Lovett's winning of the East Griqualand Open at Kokstad Golf Club last Sunday surprised him on two counts.

The first was that he actually won... on scores of 73 and 71.

“Seriously, I wasn't expecting it. My handicap has drifted out to a two and I haven't been playing that well,” said the Prince's Grant player.

Last year he finished runner-up on four different occasions and he was beginning to wonder if he'd ever cross the winner's line in first place again.

“It's been 12 years since I last won an amateur tournament,” he said. To be fair, he did spend a number of those years as a professional.

The second surprise was who he beat in the one hole playoff, where he made a birdie on the 18th to close it out.

His opponent was none other than his travelling companion and playing partner, Chris Thorpe (Prince's Grant).

“It's crazy. In October last year he was playing off a nine, now he's down to a two handicap,” said Lovett.

“He's figured out a few things and is getting back to playing like he did when he was a junior, which was very well.”

Lovett's day was an interesting one. He started with five birdies in the first six holes.

Then he had to wait another 24 holes before the next red number appeared.

He finished with three birdies in the last five holes to catch Thorpe, who stumbled with some late bogeys.

“It was one of those days where you just had to stay really, really patient,” he said.

Defending champion Gavin Sole (Southbroom) was
tied for third on scores of 76 and 70, two shots back.

Kokstad local Mncedisi 'Vincent' Mbola
had 74 and 72.

Three players tied for fifth on 147, namely Kyle Kistensamy (Prince's Grant), Graham Fabricius (Port Shepstone) and Siyabonga Mbola (Selborne Park).

Roland Krull (Cotswold Downs) was eighth on 148, with Ronnie Mtshaka (Margate CC) next on 150.

Jason Gilliver (Selborne Park) rounded out the top 10 on 151.

The KwaZulu-Natal Country Districts Interzone tournament will be played at Kokstad from March 23 to 25.

The course has shown improvement and the greens staff are working hard to get the course into as good a condition as possible before this important event. 

Ilembe Golf Federation are defending the title, and judging by the performances of three of their possible players, look to be the ones to beat again.

* Round Two of the premier league will be played this Sunday (11th).

In the Blue Pool, Maritzburg Golf Club will host Kloof and Toti will host Mount Edgecombe CC.

The first game is probably too close to call, but Golf Club should edge it at home.

Toti are good at home but the prospect of facing the defending champions is a tough one.

Expect them to be competitive in parts but not strong enough to really threaten.

In the Red Pool Umhlali host Durban CC '2'.

Umhlali have a pretty good home record and shouldn't have too much trouble seeing off any hassles here.

* The Midlands Open will take place at Boschhoek GC on March 11.

Daviid Rush.

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