Daniel Slabbert became the inaugural ISPS Handa South African Disabled Match Play champion on Sunday when he saw off Conrad StoltzÂs challenge 2&1.
ÂIÂm still waiting for the win to sink in, but itÂs lekker,Â said Slabbert. ÂIt was very fun this week, especially being around these guys and chirping each other on the course. ItÂs not a stroke play event where you have to be quiet the whole time Â you really go out there and enjoy it.Â
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.
ÂIt 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 IÂm hitting the ball quite well, so hopefully IÂll keep that momentum going. IÂll work on the small things from here,Â 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, heÂd like to take on the Sunshine Tour pros, and this week has taken him one step closer to that goal.
ÂIÂll be studying at Tuks and trying to finish my PGA Diploma. The next step from here is exams. Hopefully IÂll go to QSchool when I feel ready, but IÂm nowhere near that yet,Â he said.
In the third & fourth playoff BritainÂs ,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.
ÂTo finish third here has far exceeded my expectations,Â said Ward. ÂI was just coming here to enjoy the tournament, so IÂm 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.Â
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 couldnÂt have asked for better preparation.
ÂWeÂre off to Florida in three weeks to play in the Simpson Cup, which is a Ryder Cup format against the injured military from America. IÂm captain for that, so IÂm really looking forward to it.
ÂThis was really great preparation for it, because a lot of these guys havenÂt played match play format before, so itÂs really good for them. I tell them just to play their normal game and enjoy it, and thatÂs put them in good stead for Florida,Â he said.