Bennett claims unique double win in St Francis

KwaZulu-Natal’s Daniel Bennett celebrates his double at St Francis Links
THE VICTOR: KwaZulu-Natal’s Daniel Bennett celebrates his double at St Francis Links
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KwaZulu-Natal’s Daniel Bennett made his much-anticipated tournament breakthrough when he won the Nomads SA Boys U17 Championship and Dimension Data Junior Open in St Francis.

The two tournaments were played concurrently, meaning that the U17 and U19 players played alongside one another.

The first two rounds alternated between St Francis Links and St Francis Bay Golf Club, and the final round was contested at the Jack Nicklaus signature course at St Francis Links.

For Bennett, it resulted in two tournament wins in one, as he swept both events to claim his maiden national titles in style.

The 16-year-old shot rounds of 74, 69 and 75 to triumph by three shots over fellow GolfRSA national squad member Amilkar Bhana.

Uitenhage’s Malan Potgieter finished third, while squad member Jadel Deltel and Milnerton’s Jack Buchanan shared fourth spot.

Bennett was inducted into the national squad earlier in 2021 after playing only a handful of tournaments since his family moved back to SA from Canada.

He has impressed with some fine performances on both the open amateur and junior circuits throughout the year, and the dominant win in St Francis boosted the Beachwood golfer to the top spot in the U17 rankings.

Bhana, looking to add the U17 title to his U15 and U13 collection, started the day with a one-shot lead, but quickly fell behind as the three-club wind took its toll on the leading group.

Bennett bounced back from a bogey, double-bogey start to make three straight birdies from the seventh hole.

He took command of the tournament with another birdie at the 11th.

Bogeys at the 13th and 14th gave the chasing pack reason to hope, but another birdie by Bennett on the par-five 16th saw him place one hand on the trophy.

Not even a nervy finish, with a three-putt bogey on the 17th and then a hooked tee shot into the water on the final hole, could alter the outcome, and a relieved Bennett knocked in a double bogey putt on the last for the three-stroke victory.

Leading scores

Nomads SA Boys U17 Championship Top 10

218 — Daniel Bennett 74 69 75

221 — Amilkar Bhana 71 71 79

223 — Jaden Deltel 74 73 76; Jack Buchanan 71 74 78

224 — Fabrizio de Abreu 71 72 81

226 — Dylan Kayne 79 74 73227 Jordan Wessels 74 74 79

Dimension Data U-19 Junior Open Top 10

218 — Daniel Bennett 74 69 75

221 — Amilkar Bhana 71 71 79

222 — Malan Potgieter 71 75 76

223 — Jaden Deltel 74 73 76; Jack Buchanan 71 74 78

 

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