15th March 2019 | Sunshine Tour
Manchest seals victory at Vusi Ngubeni Q-School
Franklin Manchest claimed his first victory as a professional player by two shots at the Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School after carding a level-par final round to finish 10-under-par 278 at Modderfontein Golf Club on Friday.
Manchest beat Gerrit Foster with whom he was paired by two shots, with Teboho Sefatsa, who clinched the victory from Manchest last year, three shots off the pace. Keelan Africa, who climbed to the top of the leaderboard during the final round, finished fourth on six-under 282. The players led the way for the 18 players who got their Sunshine Tour cards.
The 21-year-old Machest managed to keep calm after making a double-bogey on the par-four second. He quickly made a birdie on the third and made another one on eight. After the turn, he made more gains on 12th and 14th, but then undid that good work with two more bogeys on the 15th and 18th.
“Today, it wasn’t as easy as the other days,” he said. “It was the toughest of them all because the wind blew for most of the round, but I stuck to it. I managed to keep my mindset clear and just stuck to my basics. Last year I was leading going into the last round. Today I was going against Sefatsa again. He asked me if it felt like deja vu to me and I said it did not, because this year I am the one who is going to take it.”
The George Golf Club representative said the double on the second was caused by some confusion between him and his caddy, Carlo Heunis. “We had the right club in hand and then we decided just before we hit the shot that the wind was blowing a bit harder. I took more club and planned to hit it soft, but I hit it too hard and it just went on the left of the green and got into the hazard,” he said.
Now that he has got his card back for the 2019-20 Sunshine Tour season, he said he is planning to do things differently this time around to avoid finding himself in a similar situation where he had to fight for his card. “The reason I found myself in this situation again as last year is that everything was just disorganised. I did not have enough money to play certain tournaments and it was always a rush to tournaments. I had to go a day or two before the time because I could not afford to go a few days ahead. But this year, obviously, with my golf looking up again, I will try and have a better schedule and plan my stuff better. I will not play week-after-week just to make the cut, but I will plan the tournaments. This time I am going for it all out,” he said.
The leading 15 players and ties were eligible for membership in category nine on the Sunshine Tour for the 2019-20 season. Players finishing in positions 16-30 (and ties) will be granted entry into the Final Stage of the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School. Players who finish in positions one to 40 and ties will also be eligible to play the Big Easy Tour.
The tournament is named after Vusi Ngubeni, a former Sunshine Tour board member and director of Eskom who was killed in a car accident in 2003. The aim of the tournament is to afford previously disadvantaged golfers an opportunity to join and compete on the Sunshine Tour and realise their dreams of becoming professional golfers.