The 4th Edition of the Duckhook Classic Tour took place at the Magnificent Highland Gate!
36 eager Tour players from Gauteng and Cape Town came together at one of South Africa’s best golfing facilities to enjoy the 54 hole Medal event for a true test of golf, camaraderie and enjoyment.
Sunk into a veritable sea of veld, rock and grassland, Highland Gate is a picturesque and challenging Par 72 lush green golf course designed by Ernie Els. Every hole challenging the average golfer, with awesome risk and reward shots off most tees. With the Medal format requiring the ball to go into hole, the course could favour the more consistent straight hitting players.
The main Tournament format over the 3 rounds required each man playing to claim the honours of a best golfer come the end of 54 holes. The first day of competition included a fun FATS vs MAZZ Team Betterball competition which featured 18 vs 18 to claim the yearly bragging rights.
After the first Round Jason Ivins and Dorian Fourie tied for the lead on +2. Jason Ivins playing off his 0 handicap completed an exceptional round shooting an impressive 74. His front nine the highlight carding 2 Birdies and 7 Pars to reach the halfway stage on 34! He back nine saw more challenges, making Double Bogey on the Par 5 – 11th and consecutive Bogeys on the Par 5 – 14th and Par 3 – 15th to go with 6 Pars to finish on +2.
Dorian Fourie (20) scorecard told a story of steady golf, using his handicap to navigate his way around the course. Shooting 47 on his first nine only dropping shots on the Par 4 – 2nd and Par 4 – 9th to go with a Par on the 5th hole to reach the halfway point at +1. Dorian kept his momentum going on the 2nd nine shooting another 47 which included Pars on the Par 3 – 17th and Par 5 – 18th. His only mishap coming on the Par 5 – 11th carding a 9 to finish his round on 94 for a Nett 74, +2.
Once all the Fourballs returned the team results was announce around the 18th green in the favour of Team FATS who secured a 5 and a half to 3 and a half Victory over Team MAZZ!
Known as moving day the added challenge on Day 2 was playing off the Championship Tees adding extra distance to negotiate. After another 18 holes Graham de Villiers (16) made great progress up the leaderboard carding the best round of the day, finishing on 87 for a Nett -1 to move the leading mark from +2 to +6. Graham recovered from a challenging front nine after shooting 48 to improve by 9 shots on the back nine. His back nine including a Birdie on the Par 3 – 13th and Pars on the Par 5 – 11th, Par 5 – 14th, Par 3 – 15th, Par 3 – 17th and finishing Par 5 – 18th to shoot a Nett 31!
Defending Champions Danie Geldenhuys (4) took a liking to the extra length to put himself back into contention moving to 2nd on the leaderboard after his 36 holes. Danie completed his round on a Nett 73 for +1 to finish the day on +7, 1 shot behind the leader. Danie round featuring a Birdie on the Par 5 – 11th and 12 Pars.
Moving back to the Club Tees on Day 3, Marthinus Bekker (12) carded the round of the Tournament to make his run at the Classic Title on the final stretch. Starting in a Tie for 12th on +13 Marthinus found his momentum and form on the back nine with 7 holes to play. Having reach the Par 3 – 13th on +1 for the day, Marthinus made Birdie on the Par 3 – 13th and then three consecutive Pars on the Par 3 – 15th, Par 4 – 16th and Par 3 – 17th to elevate his score to +11 and in contention. It would take a Birdie on the Par 5 – 18th to post the club house lead on +10 after an excellent -3 Nett 69!
Danie Geldenhuys now playing from a scratch on the Club Tees, made the perfect start in his Title defending quest making Birdie on the Par 4 – 1st and Par 4 – 2nd with three Pars and three Bogeys for a front nine score of 39. Danie went on to construct a perfect level par back nine with 7 Pars, Bogey on the Par 4 – 11th and a Birdie on the 18th. Coming down the last hole Danie put himself into position setting up an Eagle putt to take the outright Victory. The ball just missed the left edge to secure a birdie to make it into a Play off with Marthinus on +10 , finishing his round on Nett 75, +3 for the day.
It was a straight shootout on the short Par 4 – 9th holes between Danie and Marthinus! The crowd of excited players gather around the 9th green to witness the conclusion to the 2019 Classic. Both players found the fairway safely avoiding the left hand side water. Danie first to play put his approach shot on the front right of the green leaving a long uphill putt for Birdie. The moment of the Tournament came next as Marthinus struck his 8 iron straight at the flag…the tension sky rocketed as his approach started tracking directly at the hole and silence surround the green waiting to see if the ball would find the cup for an incredible Eagle finish! His ball missed by millimetres to an echo of “ooooooooooooo” !
Danie faced a must make Birdie Putt from 50 foot to put the pressure on it was not to be as the Putt raced passed giving Marthinus the opportunity to make his 3 foot Birdie putt. And there it was, cheers echoed around the green as Marthinus completed his Birdie to become the 2019 Classic Champion at Highland Gate!
Congratulations to Marthinus on a superb effort to take his first Duckhook Title and 750 Player Ranking Points!
A MASSIVE thank you to all the players who made it a Tour never to be forgotten and etched into the Duckhook History.