The Open Championship and The Men's Invitational
South Africans, not necessarily the ones I expected, made the cut and featured at The Open Championship until the final day. The names of Grace, Schwartzel, Frittelli and Els went missing after Friday, however, Oosthuizen, van Rooyen, Lombard, Norris and Stone held spots on the leaderboard - with Erik van Rooyen and Zander Lombard sharing the top spot at one point. Brandon Stone came out firing after his win in the Scottish Open.
Erik van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Shaun Norris and King Louis (not pictured, Zander Lombard, who after finished with 82, could not be found)
But as we approached the money holes on Sunday, only Louis remained in the mix. Can you believe no one favoured Francesco Molinari in any of our pools on the weekend! He's won on both Tours in the last month and finished runner-up two more times! Oops...
His form was awesome, playing the last 36 holes without a dropped shot. Branden Grace and Justin Thomas watched him shine as they were paired together with Francesco for the first two days. Here were their comments via Twitter -
The last two hours of golf were gut-wrenching as players tumbled down and rose again. Tigger reach the top of the ladder and so did Rors; Jordon lost his putter and Justin Rose roared back from nearly missing the cut on Friday. In the end there was one "Male Golfer of the Year and the winner of the Gold Medal" - Francesco Molinari - the only Italian to ever win a major!
Hein Spangenberg and Eddie Nel take the Invitational by ONE!
Hein loves golf, Hein loves winning and Hein will tell you about it!!!
There aren't many members here who are more passionate about the game of golf than Hein Spangenberg. He supports all of our events, plays with enthusiasm, takes and gives some great "craic" on the course as the Irish would say, and picks his partners properly. Eddie Nel from Graaff-Reinet, is a proper player off five. My partner, Roy Picken, originally from Northern Ireland, paid to watch their performance on Saturday which included two pars on the 8th from the right-hand side of the bush on the hole. All I heard Eddie say was, "I've got it" to which Hein answered, "are you sure you want to play it". Not one ball came flying towards the green, both did! Then they both made four! I think our white flags came out then!
We kidded head professional, Thinus, about the risks of winning the premier member event as he was paired up with top-playing Ernest Bendeman for the weekend. Job security was mentioned publicly at the opening function on Friday night. I wonder how many putts he missed on the back nine to come second with Ernest by a shot. In third place were Charl (the SUP) Blaauw, who had nothing to do with course set-up and local player, Fouche Swart. Fouche nominated a hole-out eagle on their last hole, our 18th. Charl offered a bottle of brandy for the challenge - from 182m, he holed it for 2 and the brandy was handed over at prizegiving!
On the opening evening, the participants enjoyed the summer weather with a shoot-out on the 18 that followed a fun Ultimate Par-3 challenge. Matthew Thompson, the talented PGA Professional from Wedgewood, put on a show in both, making 6 birdies and a six-under score on the short course before nearly holing his pitch in the shoot-out!
The event was much more about good camaraderie, great food and drink with stories of great shots and silly mistakes. We were honored to have players join us from all over SA for the 12th Annual Invitational. The course was great, the weather was better than in summer and nearly all who played shared their good words of thanks to the staff, member-hosts and management.
Click HERE for all the results
Links Majors and Special Events for 2018
Jan 2-3 The Pam Golding Annual (St Francis Bay wins – the overall is tied 6 games each)
Jan 5-6 Men’s Member/Member Partnership, Chris and Jandré Lessing, Champions
Jan 20 Windhoek Lager International Pairs (3rd Qualifying), Percy Owen and Norman Dyer
Jan 27-28 EP Champs (course closed) Altin VD Merwe, Strokeplay Medalist (74-68=142)
Feb 3-4 EP Champs (semi-finals and finals) Naldo Claassens, Champion; Hugo Maritz, Plate Winner
Feb 14 Couples/Mixed Golf – Valentine’s Dinner Ronnie and Sally Nienaber, best members
Mar 10 Greensomes over 18 holes Pete Maskew and John Wilson, Champions on 39pts
Apr 22-26 National Senior Inter-Provincials Central Gauteng, Senior Champions; Southern Cape, Super-Senior Champions
May 5-6 Club Championships, Lynn Slogrove and Brent Vos, Champions
May 13-16 Senior Women’s Nationals (SFL and SFBGC) , Free State wins the team title, Maggie Minnie (Boland), gross champion.
May 18-20 St Francis Bridge Invitational Everyone was a winner!
May 20 Nomads Monthly Game (11am Shotgun) 66 in the field
May 24-25 Woodland’s Golf Days 96 players on Thursday and 112 on Friday! HOSPICE wins
May 26 Foursomes over 18 holes Johann Spangenberg and Tom Grimsley; Lynn Slogrove and Margot McGregor
June 2 Ladies’ Invitational, Sandra Marais and Sonette Korff, Champions
June 16 Quarterly Couples/Mixed – US Open - re-scheduled
June 17 Father’s Day Golf and Lunch
June 21 EP Seniors
June 25-26 Nomads Coastal NOoM, Barend Botha over Aiden Senger, playoff 143 gross
July 7 The Inaugural Muirfield Day (foursomes and four balls) everyone was a winner!
July 20-22 Men’s Invitational, Hein Spangenberg and Eddie Nel, 98 points
Aug 20 to
Sept 4 Spring Programme (Club Closed) FINAL DATES - PLEASE TAKE NOTE
Sep 23-29 Vodacom Origins of Golf (regional Finals) NEW
Sep 28-29 formerly Links Cup / Ryder Cup (Paris) (new date TBA)
Oct 6 Quarterly Couples/Mixed Golf
Nov Pam Golding Ladies’ Open Weekend (date – TBD)
Dec 1 Ladies’ Member- Member Partnership
Dec 8 Par-3 Championships
Dec 14-15 Pam Golding Annual (SFBGC host)
Dec 17 Kromme Trust Amazing Race
Dec 20 Food and Wine Festival
Dec 22 Year-end Couples/Mixed – Pro Shop Sale
Jan 3-4 Men’s Member-Member Partnership
More to Come!
Itec are our sponsors for OPEN Wednesday (2nd Wednesday) with meat and added prizes. Invite your friends to enjoy SA’s best with special rates for golf, snacks after the game and great prizes – Hey, Curry Night follows – stay or take away!
Monday Roll-up! Pitch up and play (9 holes or 18 Par-3 from 2pm) let's add you to the What's app group
All day Saturdays: Morning and afternoon fields - the afternoon field will be booked from 12 noon backwards with emphasis on "ready golf"
Monday Men's Book Club - 5pm in Jack's Bar (no reading required)
Ladies' Tea (and Coffee) - Every Tuesday at 10am on the Veranda
20-22 July The Men's Invitational
8 August ITEC Open Wednesday
Every Great shot starts with a SMILE!
Santa and the Links TEAM