Immelman won it in first three rounds

2008-04-16 00:00

I sincerely hope that you didn’t fall asleep last Sunday night during the late telecast of the final round of the U.S. Masters. It finished well after 1 am. Although this year we didn’t see a closely fought final nine holes, it was nevertheless most memorable because it was Trevor Immelman’s first Major win, and under very difficult conditions.

His last few holes, though, were not without incident. He hit his tee shot into Rae’s Creek at the short 16th and took a double bogey. He then found the bunker in front of the 17th and managed to make par.

Then he drove the ball up the centre of the 18th fairway, only to find his ball in a divot. He managed, however, to manufacture a shot to the middle of the green and two-putt for victory.

Throughout the final round, he left himself some difficult putts, but his nerve held and he survived to hang on to win by three shots from Tiger Woods. It sounds a comfortable margin, but it was not. It is obvious that it becomes really tough for even the top golfers to control their nerves towards the end of such an important tournament.

Tom Watson once said that the only man he fears on the golf course is himself. When all is said and done, it was the first three rounds of 11-under-par that set up Immelman’s victory.

Immelman becomes the fifth South African to win a Golf Major, following Bobby Locke who won four, Gary Player with nine, Ernie Els with three and Retief Goosen with two.

So Tiger failed to make number 14, despite being outright favourite to win the Masters, and those old Jack Nicklaus fans can now breathe a sigh of relief until the next Major, which is the U.S. Open in June. In Major titles, Tiger Woods remains five behind Jack Nicklaus.

More of those Murphy’s Laws of Golf: “Your golf cart never runs out of petrol at the half-way house”.

“A ball will always travel farthest when hit in the wrong direction.”

“If there is a ball on the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is always the one in the bunker.”

“If there are two balls in the bunker, yours is the one in the footprint.”

Both city clubs had the Matchplay championships last weekend.

The results at Victoria Country Club were:

A division - Kalvin Parsons beat Clint Kruger 5 and 4.

B division — Dawie Louw beat Krish Naidoo 5 and 3 and in the C division — Koekie Swanepoel beat Andrew Walker 7 and 6.

A 4 Ball Alliance with 2 scores to count was held at VCC for those players not involved in the Matchplay. It was won with 90 points on a count out by Michael Gouweloos, Ryan Thomson, Andrew Christie and Kalvin Harrison. In second spot were Des Fourie, Chad Fourie, Stegman Erasmus and Chris Hattingh.

The Maritzburg golf club Match play results were:

A division – Graham Dickinson defeated Darryl Trodd 3 and 2. B division – Simon Goweloos beat Neil Parsonage on the 20th hole and in the C division, Mike Wooldridge beat Kevin Grayson 4 and 3.

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