Near misses inspire KZN’s young gun

2008-05-12 00:00

SUN CITY — “Twice the bridesmaid; maybe it’s third time lucky,” says former KZN midlands golfer Neil Schietekat from Sun City, where the Gary Player Country Club and Lost City Golf Course will provide the backdrop for a unique experience at the Nashua Golf Challenge from May 15 to 17.

After a rather mediocre summer swing, Schietekat followed a tie for ninth at the Origins Free State with back-to-back runner-up finishes and feels he is on the verge of a breakthrough.

“I was disappointed about losing at Pretoria Country Club, because I had the lead going into the final round,” admits Schietekat, who lost his overnight advantage at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Gauteng to winner Tyrone van Aswegen.

“The tournament was mine to win and I only had myself to blame for losing it. It was a great lesson in golf and life though; you can’t take your eye off the ball for a minute, because you may not get the chance to get it back.”

Schietekat followed with another second place finish at the Samsung Royal Swazi Sun Open, but this time the experience gained saw the lanky 24-year-old from Kwazulu-Natal systematically reduce the 14-point gap between him and runaway winner Jean Hugo, to just six points in the Modified Stableford format.

“It was definitely different in Swaziland. Jean was always going to be tough to catch, but it felt great to see the gap between us shorten throughout the final round.”

Both international-standard 18-hole golf courses designed by Gary Player, at southern Africa’s most famous luxury casino resort, will be utilised for the tournament.

Reigning Mount Edgecombe Trophy champion Mark Murless is by some way the highest ranked player.

The Sunshine Tour number four, who won the Nedbank Affinity Cup at Lost City in November last year, leads 2008 champions Marc Cayeux (Nashua Masters), Dion Fourie (Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour Free State) and Jean Hugo, who won the Samsung Royal Swazi Sun Open on the weekend.

Kwazulu-Natal’s Warren Abery will more than likely pose a threat. — Own Correspondent.

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