Daniel takes disabled Match Play victory

Daniel Slabbert became the inaugural ISPS Handa South African Disabled Match Play champion on Sunday when he saw off Conrad Stoltz’s challenge 2&1.

“I’m still waiting for the win to sink in, but it’s lekker,” said Slabbert. “It was very fun this week, especially being around these guys and chirping each other on the course. It’s not a stroke play event where you have to be quiet the whole time – you really go out there and enjoy it.”

The 21-year-old showed great composure during the round, winning the 17th at Zwartkop Country Club to seal a hard-fought victory against Stoltz.

“It was tough today. I started 1-up, but soon went to all-square and from there it was back-and-forth. My plan was to get an early lead and let him make the mistakes. My putting stroke is good, and I’m hitting the ball quite well, so hopefully I’ll keep that momentum going. I’ll work on the small things from here,” said Slabbert.

The Sishen Golf Club player took plenty of confidence away from his win. He spoke about his future in golf, which will start with his studies. One day, however, he’d like to take on the Sunshine Tour pros, and this week has taken him one step closer to that goal.

“I’ll be studying at Tuks and trying to finish my PGA Diploma. The next step from here is exams. Hopefully I’ll go to QSchool when I feel ready, but I’m nowhere near that yet,” he said.

In the third & fourth playoff Britain’s ,b>Dave Ward took a convincing 5&4 victory over James Hourigan. The 48-year-old, who sustained his injuries during his service in the Royal Corps Transport, was pleased to take third.

“To finish third here has far exceeded my expectations,” said Ward. “I was just coming here to enjoy the tournament, so I’m very pleased. I thoroughly enjoyed the week and I hit the ball solid today. For the holes I played on the back nine I was one-under, thanks to some good chipping and putting. I gave a couple of holes away early with silly little shots, but once I went up there was no looking back.”

The next stop for the Brits is a tour to America for the Simpson Cup, where 12 Brits will take on 12 Americans in a match play format. Ward will captain the team, and couldn’t have asked for better preparation.

“We’re off to Florida in three weeks to play in the Simpson Cup, which is a Ryder Cup format against the injured military from America. I’m captain for that, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“This was really great preparation for it, because a lot of these guys haven’t played match play format before, so it’s really good for them. I tell them just to play their normal game and enjoy it, and that’s put them in good stead for Florida,” he said.

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