PAT on the back for golfer Chris Wicks, who leads WP se­ries

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - RACING - MIKE DE BRUYN

CHRIS WICKS de­serves his lead in the West­ern Prov­ince Pre­mier Am­a­teur Tour (PAT) rank­ings be­cause the Durbanville Golf Club mem­ber is one of six play­ers to have teed up in all 14 events to date.

The 24-year-old won the Clovelly Open and has fin­ished run­ner-up twice to go with seven top-10 plac­ings.

He sits on 792 points, 183 more than near­est ri­val Ste­fan Blom­marie of Strand, who has com­peted in 12 events, while Sean Howel (Durbanville) com­pletes the podium hav­ing net­ted 595 points from 14 ap­pear­ances. Dean Robert Pilk­ing­ton (Bel­lville) and Wey­ers Janse van Rens­burg (Mil­ner­ton) com­plete the top five.

The fi­nal PAT event takes place to­day at King David-Mow­bray. Then it’s the fi­nals at Bel­lville on De­cem­ber 3, which the late Michael Sher­riff won last year.

The Ron­de­bosch Open played and won two weeks back by for­mer pro­fes­sional Cameron John­ston pro­duced a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in that it was the 100th Open (46 dif­fer­ent win­ners) since the in­cep­tion of the PAT in 2011.

PAT came about as a re­sult of the lack of com­pe­ti­tion for the prov­ince’s lo­cal lead­ing golfers, and they’ve re­sponded by turn­ing up in big num­bers to play – like 200 this sea­son and there have been eight first-time win­ners.

Sean Bradley, who joined the pro ranks last year, heads the list of most wins with seven, four (a record) of which were reg­is­tered in 2015 on his way to the over­all ti­tle.

Altin van der Merwe, Ger­lou Roux, JP Stry­dom and Le Riche Eh­lers fol­low with six apiece.

With two vic­to­ries from his last four starts, John­ston could once again be the man to beat to­day. The fact that he’s play­ing on his home course im­proves his chances 10-fold. John­ston is a work­ing man which is why he has only made eight starts this sea­son.

To win his last start by six shots (rounds of 71 and 69) at Ron­de­bosch spells dan­ger for those hop­ing to deny him.

Ay­den Sen­ger, 16, who won the Durbanville Open on his home course for a maiden PAT ti­tle, will rep­re­sent WP at the U19 IPT next month.

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