Verster sneaks by for first Nomads win
While all eyes were on the battle between overnight leaders and fellow GolfRSA National squad players Amilkar Bhana and Jordan Wessels, Pinnacle Point’s Ivan Verster came from six shots back to claim his first national title in the Nomads coastal National Order of Merit event at St Francis Links.
Verster looked to be out of the running after Wessels eagled the par-four 1st hole. But the Southern Cape youngster kept his head in the game and rattled off four straight birdies from the third hole to give himself a sniff of a chance.
Still three shots back, Verster was caught out by the tight 8th hole and dropped two shots further behind the leading pair when he made a double bogey.
Birdies at the 11th and the 17th saw Verster home in a round of 68 for a score of -4. It seemed a good score, but surely only good enough for a playoff, at best.
Yet behind him, things were not going quite according to plan.
Wessels made bogeys at the par-five 3rd and the 9th, before a messy triple on the 10th hole. He fought back bravely, with three birdies in the next four holes, but a double bogey at the par-five 16th and a bogey on the last undid his challenge.
Bhana bogeyed the 9th but looked to be in contol of the tournament before bogeys on the last two holes saw him slip back into second, tied with Wessels. Janko van der Merwe, winner of the Nomads SA Boys U17, fired a closing 67 to secure fourth and GolfRSA National squad members Pascal Gunther, Dan Bennett and Christopher Bagnall finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.
“I love this course,” said Verster. “It’s such a good test of golf and a great venue to get my first win.”