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Golf | SA

Mazibuko leads Vusi graduates onto Sunshine Tour



In the end, the 10-shot margin Makgetha Mazibuko held as he won the Vusi Ngubeni Q-School on Friday at Observatory Golf Club told the full tale.

While his final-round three-under-par 69 was littered with four bogeys and a double-bogey, the seven birdies and an eagle spoke eloquently enough of his superiority over the four days as he signed for his fourth successive sub-70 round.

“I set myself a target of 20-under-par,” said the 25-year-old from Bloemfontein, “and obviously I did a bit better than that.”

His understatement concealed the fact that Omar Sandys and Heinrich Bruiners were 11-under-par for the tournament, but never in the mix as Mazibuko started the day with a seven-stroke lead which he simply extended with four birdies in his closing six holes.

His victory in the tournament, named for Vusi Ngubeni, a Sunshine Tour board member and a director of Eskom who was killed in a 2003 motor accident, gave him his Sunshine Tour card for the 2013 season – and it gave cards to 15 other players, all of those who finished on three-under-par 285 and better.

That list included the likes of Sipho Bujela and Musiwalo Nethunzwi, two confident young players from Modderfontein Golf Club who signed away their amateur status ahead of the tournament, so confident were they that they would earn their cards.

And the players who finished on two-under to nine-over-par earned playing privileges on the 2013 Sunshine Big Easy Tour presented by Stonehage, the ‘development’ tour which has started to produce players who perform well on the main tour.

Mazibuko started shakily with a bogey on the first and another on the third, but kept his round on an even keel with birdies on two and four.

But things looked as if they might spin out of control as bogeys on six and eight saw him slip back to within grasping distance of the chasing pack.

But then he holed his bunker shot on the ninth for eagle, and that gave him the confidence he needed. “That eagle really turned things around for me,” he said. “I was just trying to get it up and down, and instead I got it up and in!”

Five birdies decorated the homeward nine on his scorecard, and not even a double-bogey six on the 12th could derail the Mazibuko express as it chugged home.

For Sandys and Bruiners – both of whom are experienced campaigners on the Sunshine Tour – second place brought another year of action for them after Sandys had lost the status he has held for so long, and Bruiners completed a bounce back from a potentially career-ending injury.

For Mazibuko, a determined campaign is just starting. “I’ve practiced hard, and I wanted to build on what I learned in the few events I played on the Sunshine Tour last year,” he said. “Now I want to be competitive.”

SCORES:

267 - Makgetha Mazibuko 66 64 68 69

277 - Omar Sandys 69 68 69 71, Heinrich Bruiners 68 66 73 70

278 - Sipho Bujela 64 73 70 71

280 - Kenneth Dube 67 70 68 75

281 - Irvin Mazibuko 72 72 67 70, Musiwalo Nethunzwi 68 71 70 72

282 - Tsietsi Chabangu 71 71 70 70, 283 - John Bele 74 71 70 68

284 - Alpheus Kelapile 74 68 75 67, Jacquin Hess (AMA) 72 72 71 69, Wandile Gininda 68 72 75 69

285 - Jonathan Raphunga 74 71 72 68, Ryan Strauss 70 72 71 72, Mark Mahoney (AMA) 68 73 71 73

End of Sunshine Tour cards

286 - Allister de Kock 72 71 71 72

287 - Reggie Adams 71 70 73 73

288 - Khaya Jika 68 72 75 73, George Brown 72 73 70 73, Neo Thubisi 68 75 69 76, Terence Salo (AMA) 71 69 75 73

289 - Rocky Tlhabanyane 76 69 74 70

291 - Derick Petersen 75 72 75 69, Jack Kutumane 75 69 74 73, Zuko Sangqu 71 73 75 72

292 - Laurison Mahlangu 74 72 75 71, Thanda Mavundla 77 73 72 70

293 - Ben Jonas 72 75 77 69, Sammy Daniels 76 70 74 73, Ashwin Krishen (AMA) 74 73 74 72, Zwelakhe Dube 74 71 74 74

295 - Mike Maile 72 77 74 72, Mokgeteng J. Mashego 74 75 76 70, Clifton Stanley (AMA) 72 71 78 74

296 - Cameron Esau 76 75 74 71, Stephen Moloi 70 75 77 74, Warrick Moonieyan (AMA) 72 70 79 75, Warren Holland 67 75 76 78

297 - Albert Tsai 72 82 71 72, Bongani Mtsweni (AMA) 74 71 77 75, Lebo Ramukosi 73 76 74 74

End of Big Easy Tour cards

298 - Gerrit Foster 70 75 79 74, Godfrey Mphaga (AMA) 73 71 78 76

299 - Michael Dreyer 73 71 73 82

300 - Kerwin Marais 77 74 79 70, Mohamed Tayob 78 75 74 73, Jastice Mashego (AMA) 73 75 76 76

302 - Garth Mohamed (AMA) 74 76 77 75, Teddy Mathebula (AMA) 77 74 74 77

304 - SV Nhlapho 76 78 77 73

305 - Joseph Maseko (AMA) 73 80 83 69, Colin Mavuso (AMA) 77 77 73 78

306 - Sung-Moon Hohng (KOR) 80 73 79 74

307 - Jeff Mnisi (AMA) 77 75 79 76, Thabo Shingange (AMA) 74 80 77 76, Mpho Mafishe (AMA) 78 74 74 81, Joseph Mojapela 80 74 74 79

308 - Thomas Mashimbi (AMA) 77 76 78 77, Elvis Sithebe 76 74 81 77, Mzwane Sithole 80 74 77 77, Mzwandile Sikobi 72 81 76 79

309 - Martin Langa (AMA) 77 76 81 75

314 - Shalan Govender (AMA) 73 74 85 82, Roger Skidow (AMA) 77 76 79 82, Sipho Hlongwa (AMA) 79 75 81 80, Daniel Mosebi (AMA) 79 71 78 87

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