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Ken Borland

Mostert produces bogey-free back nine for maiden Sunshine Tour title 0

Posted on July 22, 2022 by Ken

IRENE, City of Tshwane – Dylan Mostert showed great mental composure and produced a bogey-free back nine for his maiden Sunshine Tour title on Sunday, as he won the KitKat Group ProAm at Irene Country Club by three strokes.

Mostert shot a fantastic 68 in the final round for a 17-under-par total of 199, three clear of MJ Viljoen (67), to become the fourth first-time winner on tour this season.

A bogey on the par-five second hole made for a nervous start for the left-handed Mostert, but he showed he was up for the challenge when he chipped in for birdie on the third in superb fashion on the undulating green.

Malcolm Mitchell went out in three-under 33 to make for an exciting challenge for Mostert, but the 23-year-old from Modderfontein Golf Club birdied the ninth and then produced a fabulous hybrid approach shot from under the trees, in the dirt, finding the middle of the 10th green and then sinking the putt for birdie for some breathing space.

“I hit some great shots that were really important for me to change the momentum,” Mostert said. “I had just made bogey on two and I was not in a great spot next to the third green, I was just hoping for an up-and-down at best. And then on 10, that was like a one-out-of-10 shot to pull off.             

“A whole bunch of things came together, but it’s definitely my mental game that made the most difference, my main focus was on staying neutral upstairs. Since finishing second in the Blue Label Challenge at Sun City last year, I’ve been working on that with Theo Bezuidenhout.

“I now have a different mindset because before I was up and down with birdies and bogeys. Now it’s about making good decisions and good swings. That builds confidence and belief.

“I probably hit the ball 10 times better when I finished second, but now I know where to miss,” Mostert said.

Further birdies at the 12th and 17th holes meant he was partitioned by three shots from Viljoen, five clear of the dangerous Louis Albertse (70) and half-a-dozen strokes ahead of Kyle Barker (67) and Ryan van Velzen (71) by the end of the R1 million tournament.

Mitchell fell away with a horrible double-bogey at the 14th followed by bogeys on the next two holes as well, finishing on nine-under-par.

In the separate pro-am competition, Viljoen’s joint-best round of the day of 67 allowed himself and Japie Holtzhausen to claim the title on 19-under-par, two ahead of Madalitso Muthiya and Nash Soni, and Hennie O’Kennedy and Moe Mitha, on 17-under.

A top-class putting display gives Mostert a 2-stroke lead 0

Posted on July 21, 2022 by Ken

IRENE, City of Tshwane – Dylan Mostert produced a top-class display of putting for a second day in a row as he took a two-stroke lead on 13-under-par on Saturday heading into the final round of the KitKat Group ProAm at Irene Country Club.

Mostert was just a shot off the lead after a brilliant 65 in the first round, and on Saturday he followed up with a marvellous 66, leaving him a couple of shorts clear of Keagan Thomas on 11-under after rounds of 66 and 67.

First-round leader Ryan van Velzen (70) is in a tie for third on 10-under-par with Louis Albertse (68).

The 23-year-old Mostert, a big-hitting former U.S. College golfer at Dalton State, said it was a hot putter which had made the difference for him so far at Irene CC.

“My mental game has been very good, I’m hitting it in the right spots and then putting well,” Mostert said. “I just seemed to have had the knack of reading the greens right.

“It feels like if you leave yourself in a bad spot on the green here, then it will be really tough. The greens are undulating and some of the putts are very quick and can go sideways.

“I actually haven’t hit the ball that well off the tee, but I have missed in the right spots and then my play has been very good from there,” Mostert said.

The Modderfontein Golf Club representative now has a wonderful opportunity to claim his first Sunshine Tour title in Sunday’s final round, having finished second in the Blue Label Challenge at Gary Player Country Club last October.

“It takes consistency over all three rounds to be successful, so I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing,” Mostert said. “It’s going to be important to stay calm and patient, and just let it happen.

“For tomorrow, I will try to stay neutral emotionally, just do what I’ve been doing. But I also need to keep pushing because you’re not going to win this tournament shooting level-par.

“So I’ll be trying to make birdies and just keep that putter rolling,” Mostert said.

MJ Viljoen and Madalitso Muthiya both fired wonderful six-under-par 66s on Saturday to join Malcolm Mitchell (69) and Ockie Strydom (68) in the tie for fifth place on nine-under.

Van Velzen roars to 64 and 1-stroke lead 0

Posted on July 20, 2022 by Ken

IRENE, City of Tshwane – Sunshine Tour rookie Ryan van Velzen roared to a marvellous eight-under-par 64 at Irene Country Club on Friday to claim a one-stroke lead after the first round of the KitKat Group ProAm, the R1 million tournament being held for the second time after flooding washed out the tournament in February.

The 21-year-old Van Velzen, playing just his fifth Sunshine Tour event, was particularly rampant on the par-fours, picking up six of his eight birdies there, to go with birdies on the par-five 10th and 17th holes. It was also a bogey-free round for the Benoni golfer, who won his card from the Big Easy Tour in January.

“I’m really happy and I played really nicely, hitting the ball good and close and making the putts,” Van Velzen said after racing past his previous best Tour round of 68.

“I drove the ball straight most of the day, I didn’t miss many fairways and my iron play was really good. I was surprised how good the greens were after all the rain and flooding earlier in the year.

“The course is in really good shape and you have to hit it straight off the tee because of all the trees. And the greens were pretty quick so you didn’t want to be on the wrong side of the hole,” Van Velzen said.

The former GolfRSA squad member was on the right side of most things on Friday, including an extraordinary tussle for top spot on the leaderboard that he eventually won.

Dylan Mostert finished just one stroke back after a brilliant 65, converting a great start after he was three-under through five holes.

Merrick Bremner, Ockie Strydom and JJ Senekal made the early running with their five-under-par 67s, but endured the frustration of watching the leading duo sweep past them in the afternoon, as well as the in-form Louis Albertse, Malcolm Mitchell and Keagan Thomas, who all shot 66s.

Rourke van der Spuy, who drank from the champagne bottle a week ago when he won the SunBet Challenge hosted by Sun City, was also part of the bottleneck at the top as he started on the 10th tee and moved to four-under-par after his birdie on the third hole. But the aggressive 32-year-old did not quite have the finish he intended as he then bogeyed the par-four sixth and made pars the rest of the way in to finish with a 69.

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