Dream final at 36-hole Royal Durban

2008-03-07 00:00

IT could be a dream final at the Glacier South African Amateur Golf championship final over 36 holes at Royal Durban today.

On the one hand, there is Jacques Blaauw of Paarl, already the SA Amateur strokeplay champion, and on the other, there is the highly experienced Welshman Nigel Edwards bidding for a second SA Amateur title after winning at De Zalze in Stellenbosch two years ago.

It took a great finishing hole from the Welshman to carry him through to a South African Amateur championship final in two years against a very disappointed Cameron Johnston, of Milnerton, who said simply: “Nigel just got lucky there”.

That may well be so, but Edwards, shaken by an eagle putt against him from Cameron Johnston at the 14th that led to something of a scramble over the next four holes, could well have had the game won and dusted long before the trip down the 14th.

He was four up after seven holes and cruising before Johnston won the eighth and 12th.

Edwards got a very valuable fifth hole at the 13th before losing the 14th and 17th and that left him one ahead playing the last.

But the Welshman was in severe trouble off the tee and a wayward shot left him pinned against the trees on the right of the fairway.

And that was when he produced his shot of the day — earlier he had cruised through his quarter-final encounter with Adrian Ford of Durbanville in a six and four saunter down the Royal Durban course — a six iron cut to perfection onto the green.

Johnston, meanwhile, had found the bunker, but was still in with a chance of winning the hole and taking the match beyond the 18th green.

However, he miscued and the ball flew across the green, leaving him with a difficult return chip for a half after Edwards had timed his putt to perfection for a “gimme”.

He could not pull off the miracle and went down by two holes.

Edwards said: “Now I have to get myself in gear and give it a good go tomorrow. I had a very good start. I played very well”.

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