Jason Gilliver wins EG Open

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on Wednesday, 06 February 2019 in News

Hail in Kokstad 1 2IMG-20190204-WA0001JGilliver

Top: Hail in Kokstad. Photo Credit: David Rush

Below: Jason Gilliver from Undoni Park GC at Kokstad. Photo Credit: David Rush

JASON Gilliver won the East Griqualand Open on a day where, unsurprisingly, Kokstad Golf Club had some summer hail.

But fortunately, and considerably perhaps, it pelted down after the golf was done and dusted.

Gilliver (Umdoni Park) shot 68 and 73 to win by one from Kyle Kistensamy (Prince's Grant), who had 71 and 71.

The day began on the wet side but it didn't seem to have any effect on Gilliver who started like a house on fire.

He made some early birdies and then very nearly had a hole-in-one on the tricky par three 9th hole.

He birdied the par five 10th as well, but then struggled a bit after that. Well, by his high standards anyway.

“The swing got a bit fast and started to go wayward but I stuck to what I knew and just played my golf,” he said.

“The guy I was playing with Nick (Morgan) was on fire in the afternoon and couldn’t go wrong but I said I’m here to play the course, so I just stuck it out and made some birdies in the closing holes to shoot one over.” 

Gilliver seems to like Kokstad, having won the KZN Country Districts Strokeplay tournament there last year.

“On a lighter note James 'Louis' Barnard kept calling us 'Sir', and I'm only 21, so well done to him for doing Maritzburg College proud (from a Glenwood Old Boy). It was good to play with him and we had a very enjoyable game along with Nick.” 

As for the condition of the course, local favourite Sean Baker said the greens were little bumpier in the afternoon and probably caused the higher scores. 

“Weather was a little rainy, nothing hard, in the morning but it cleared up nicely in the afternoon with a one club wind. Then the heavens opened once prize-giving was finished.”

Gilliver may have won the tournament but it was probably Ryan de Beer who garnered most of the attention.

He's played about two or three rounds in the past year and was persuaded by Guy Greyling (who is better known for his phenomenal hockey skills) to come and play.

'Da Booz' as he is affectionately known, really enjoyed what he described as a 'country knock around', finishing in fourth place.

“I was a little disappointed that Gavin 'Big Fish' Sole didn't make the trip seeing as though he's won this tournament so many times but I can understand he was worried about getting beaten by a part-time golfer now farmer!” he joked.

“It was good fun, although being called a 'ballie' was a bit of a shock. The long game is still there but the short game is a bit rusty.”

For the record, De Beer and Sole were unbeaten in the foursomes when KZN won the South African IPT at Durban Country Club in 2009.

De Beer retired from top amateur golf in about 2010 when he moved to Underberg. 

He hasn't entirely given up on the idea of playing in an IPT again, perhaps mid-amateurs or even country districts.

“It's a long way to drive for tournaments, but you just never know.”

141 Jason Gilliver (Umdoni Park) 68 73
142 Kyle Kistensamy (Prince's Grant) 71 71
143 Nicholas Morgan (Durban CC) 76 67
146 Ryan de Beer (Underberg )74 72
147 Sean Baker (Margate) 70 77
148 Jens Hillermann (Noodsberg) 75 73
148 Nathan Trodd (Maritzburg GC) 75 73
149 Mikhail van Brakel (Umdoni Park) 72 77
149 Louis Barnard (Maritzburg GC) 74 75
151 Darren Gerrard (Drak Gardens) 75 76
151 Ethan Gough (Kloof) 76 75
151 Chooks Lourens (Kokstad) 74 77
151 Siyabonga Mbola (Kokstad) 72 79

* Coming up, league golf gets going this Sunday (10th).

In premier league's blue pool, Zululand host Umhlali and Cotswold Downs are at home to Royal Durban.

In the red pool, Toti host Durban CC '2' and Kloof travel to Mount Edgecombe CC.

David Rush

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