By: Craig Stirton
As the dust settles on what was a wonderful Canon Open Series, here’s all you need to know about the much-anticipated Canon Open Series Champion of Champions.
Williams Completes Thrilling Victory
Charles Williams and Cedric Touzard delivered a spine-tingling finish in the Deaf Strokeplay division of the Canon Open Series Champion of Champions at Zwartkop Country Club.
One shot separated the pair after the first round – Touzard in the ascendancy thanks to a five-over par 76. After 36 holes, and a final-round which saw Williams sign for a 74 and Touzard a 75, there was no separating the Western Cape duo and they headed for a sudden-death playoff.
From the outset, there was no shortage of drama. Williams found the trees on the right-hand side of Zwartkop’s opening hole while Touzard split the fairway.
With Williams having no choice but to lay-up short of the green, it was advantage Touzard. The Clovelly Country Club member couldn’t capitalise, however, and missed the green right.
Having found the green in three, Williams two-putted for his bogey-five. With little green to work with and his ball sitting down a little in the rough, Touzard opted for the putter and left himself with a four-footer for the victory. A slight-pull saw the ball catch the left-edge of the hole and stay above ground – Williams’ title aspirations still alive.
Playing the par-4 1st for a second time, Touzard opened the door for Williams when he found a greenside bunker with his second-shot. Williams came up short of the green with his approach though and it was still anyone’s tournament.
The hours Charles Williams has spent around the practice chipping green at King David Mowbray Golf Club paid dividends and he left himself with a five-footer for par.
Touzard’s trap shot meanwhile ran through the green from where he two-putted for a bogey.
Faced with a right-to-lefter for the win with tournament officials and fellow competitors watching on, Williams calmly rolled in his par-putt to complete a sensational victory.
With runner-up finishes in the first two Canon open Series events and three successive tournament victories to close out the series, Charles Williams certainly deserves his title as Canon Open Series Deaf Strokeplay Champion.
Magatye Makes Magic
What a revelation Yolandi Magatye has been in the Canon Open Series. Having announced herself to the South African Disabled Golf fraternity with victory in the Cape Town Disabled Open hosted by The City of Cape Town, the leg-amputee backed up that impressive display with a two-point victory over Leon Strydom in the Physically-Disabled Stableford division.
One-shot ahead of Strydom overnight on 39 points, Magatye made a fast-start to her round with three-pointers at her first and third holes of the day. Rebounding from zero-pointers at the par-5 13th and par-14 14th, Magatye sandwiched a three-pointer at the 16th between two-pointers at the 15th and 17th as she turned in 14 points.
Playing Partner Strydom saw to it that the tournament went down to the wire. His opening-nine of 18 points featured two four-pointers at the 13th and 17th, a three-pointer at the 16th and three other two-pointers. In doing so, Strydom found himself three points ahead with nine holes remaining.
Magatye though kept her cool – notching a three-pointer at her 10th hole of the day and a two-pointer at the next. A slight wobble followed as the Fancourt Country Club member came up empty-handed on two consecutive holes.
Strydom remained steady with two two-pointers and a three-pointer over the first four holes of the second-nine.
Holding a six-point lead with five holes to play, Strydom faltered at the moment critique. He was unable to register any points on three of his final five holes but did manage two-pointers at the par-5 7th and 9th respectively.
Magatye meanwhile closed in style. A two-pointer at the 5th preceded a three-pointer at the 6th and a par-5 at the 7th which garnered a further four-points.
Magatye punctuated a fine inward-nine and indeed with a three-pointer at the closing hole.
In the end, the leg-amputee prevailed by two over Strydom but the blind golfer certainly gave her a run for her money.
Craig Moorgas – winner of the Canon Kwazulu-Natal Disabled Open and Canon Port Elizabeth Open couldn’t reproduce his early-series form and he faded to a distant third-place with 46 points to his name over the two days.
Van der Berg Claims Deaf Stableford Crown
Shanon Van der Berg – winner of the Canon Kwazulu-Natal Disabled Open and Canon Gauteng Open respectively – closed out a 14-point win over Sisa Nkomo in the Canon Open Series Deaf Stableford Division.
Van der Berg was four-points ahead of Sisa Nkomo after the first round. The pair found themselves locked in an absorbing head-to-head battle in the final round and matched each other with 21 first-nine points.
The highlights of Nkomo’s first-nine was undoubtedly a par at the par-3 17th which earned him four points. His consistency was impressive: three three-pointers and as many two-pointers illustrate just how solid a player he is turning into.
Van der Berg also produced a fantastic opening-nine which featured a par at the par-5 13th along with three three-pointers and as many two-pointers which helped him to maintain his lead.
Unfortunately Nkomo’s title-bid stalled as he could only muster 12 second-nine points which featured four two-pointers.
Van der Berg, on the other hand, remained in superb control of his game. Three-pointers on Zwartkop’s 1st, 3rd and and 5th signalled his intent to finish the job in the strongest fashion possible.
A closing birdie at the par-5 9th for four points and a total of 22 second-nine points was a fitting end to a stellar performance from Van der Berg.
With three victories over the five Canon Open Series events – Shanon Van der Berg is the undisputed Canon Open Series Deaf Stableford champion.
Photos: Warren Nicholas/Canon South Africa