Cool hand Kingston closes out at Selborne

2010-08-21 00:00

PENNINGTON — James Kingston capped off a brilliant week at home when he marched to victory at the Vodacom Business Origins Goes Easy event yesterday.

Despite coming under pressure from Brazil’s Adilson da Silva, Kingston put the finishing touches to a two-stroke win at Selborne Hotel, Spa and Golf Estate.

Going into the final round, Kingston knew all he had to do was stay cool and protect his overnight lead while letting the rest of the field play catch up.

“Obviously it’s not the kind of performance I was looking for,” said Kingston, after signing off on a final round even-par 72 for a 54-hole total of 13-under-par 203. “I would have liked to have pulled it off better at the end, but I think I probably did the hard work yesterday.

“Today conditions were absolutely perfect, but I must say, some of the pins were tough — set back on the greens — and they didn’t really allow you to attack. Luckily I only had to keep an eye on Adilson, so I decided to play sensible golf out there.”

Da Silva did challenge with an early birdie at the third, but lost the advantage with a bogey at the seventh. Both players dropped shots at the eighth, but birdied the 10th.

Kingston forged five shots clear after holing out for an eagle at the 12th, but gave the two-shot gain back immediately with back-to-back bogeys at 13 and 14.

He settled down to a string of pars on the home stretch to close out for his 11th career win on the Sunshine Tour.

Da Silva birdied the 18th, but could do no better than even-par in the final round for second place.

Warren Abery and Grant Muller finished the tournament tied for third on nine-under after Abery fired a three-under-par 69 and Muller a 68.

It was a casual invitation from fellow pro Kevin Stone that brought the two-time European Tour winner to Selborne.

“I got back from the Bridgestone Invitational and Stoney suggested I come and play this week to warm up for Europe,” explained Kingston. “I guess I owe him this one.

“I came down here to have a little fun, support the event, and to walk away winning it puts the cherry on the cake. And I must say, it’s nice to have two Vodacom trophies on the mantle now,” added Kingston, who also won the Vodacom Championship at Pretoria Country Club in 2008.

The Birdies for Kiddies campaign has been the main charity drive in this year’s Vodacom Business Origins Goes Easy series. The Selborne leg in the series raised R333 500 for a total of 667 birdies and eagles, and an additional R20 000 for holes-in-one made by professional Shaun Norris and amateur Alan Nathan.

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