Mkhoma clinches silverware

2011-06-15 00:00

PORT Shepstone’s Phiwa Mkhoma continued his rich vein of form to win the 36-hole Halfway Toyota KwaZulu-Natal U23 Strokeplay tournament at Scottburgh Golf Club last Sunday.

The prodigious 19-year-old, who boasts a minus-two handicap, was especially impressive in the opening round as he carded a one-over 70 to head into the second round as joint-leader along with Ashley Pauls.

The wind picked up in the afternoon, which troubled most of the field and set the scene for a thrilling climax­. Sharing the lead until the bitter end, Mkhoma coolly birdied the 18th hole for a final round 76 to clinch the silverware by a single stroke.

“I’m very happy with the win. It’s a big win for me. The wind made it very tricky, I had a few battles, but my putting helped me a lot,” said Mkhoma.

The rising star’s good form this year earned him a late call-up to the KwaZulu-Natal team that competed in last month’s South African Country Districts tournament in Stellenbosch, where he gained valuable experience.

“It was a great experience and even though I was a late replacement, it meant a lot to have the support of the rest of the team who said that I fully deserved a place in the initial team, based on my performances.”

Mkhoma said that Sunday’s victory has given him newfound confidence for the remainder of the year.

“It’s a great confidence-booster because I know now that even when I’m playing with the top guys, I can perform well. Now I’m focused to build on this win and continue playing consistently well,” said Mkhoma.

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