The Lowvelder

Play-off decides MP Open champ

- Mark Kinnear

Joshua Koekemoer of Silver Lakes Country Club and Liam van Deventer of Mooinooi Golf Club were tied on -5 after the four rounds of the Mpumalanga Open Golf Tournament at White River Country Club on Sunday.

The championsh­ip was played on Friday (round one), Saturday (round two) and Sunday (rounds three and four).

The two young amateurs went into a play-off, with Koekemoer winning the coveted trophy on the first hole.

Werner Deyzel of Woodhill Country Club and Triston Leonard of Silver Lakes tied for third on -3.

Koekemoer held the lead after the first round, shooting a three under par 68.

Nicko Venter of Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate was one shot off the pace in second place.

A 69 on Saturday dropped Koekemoer down to third place.

A superb 64, which included five birdies and an eagle, ensured Van Deventer the top place on the leaderboar­d, with Venter who shot a 67.

A 69 from Leonard gave him a shared lead, with Koekemoer who shot a 72, after the third round on Sunday morning. Both were on four under Deyzel and Ivan Verster of Pinnacle Point Golf Club were tied third, two shots back.

Van Deventer dropped down to tied sixth after carding a 77 in the third round.

Sunday morning's third round was played in blazing heat, but the mercury rose for the final round in the afternoon like the pressure did on the players in contention for the title.

Koekemoer carded a 70, but Van Deventer was in sublime form, shooting 66, 10 shots better than his morning round.

The two took to the first tee in a sudden death play-off and Koekemoer held his nerve to win the prestigiou­s Mpumalanga Open.

The highest finishing Lowveld golfer was Jaco van der Watt. He claimed tied eighth place with five over par on his home course.

 ?? ?? Joshua Koekemoer, 2022 Mpumalanga Open champion. Left (inserted): Liam van Deventer was placed second at the Mpumalanga Open. Images digitally enhanced: Jacques Erasmus
Joshua Koekemoer, 2022 Mpumalanga Open champion. Left (inserted): Liam van Deventer was placed second at the Mpumalanga Open. Images digitally enhanced: Jacques Erasmus

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