KNYSNA GOLF NEWS - George Coetzee scored the first wire-to-wire win of his career when he secured a three-shot victory at the finals of the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Simola Golf and Country Estate on Saturday 2 November.
The 2019 season of the Origins of Golf, a Sunshine Tour-affiliated series, kicked off on 25 July with the first leg taking place at Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate in Mpumalanga. There would be four more legs at Sishen, Humewood, Stellenbosch and Selborne Park golf clubs before the finals were held at Simola for the sixth time in 10 years.
The Origins finals were first held at Simola in 2009, with Brandon Pieters winning that year.
It would return a further four times with a new winner each time – 2011, Jean Hugo; 2012, Ryan Cairns; 2013, Jacques Blaauw; and 2016, Justin Harding – before returning to the course last week.
The week began with the usual pro-am tournament that is a feature of the series, giving amateurs the chance to play alongside some of the leading golfers in South Africa. The professional tournament got under way on 31 October however, with George Coetzee taking a six-shot lead after round 1 through carding an 11-under 61.
He would further extend his lead on day 2, which would also see the field brought down from 120 players to only 40 for the final day, with the cut coming at -4 at the end of day 2. Coetzee would hold a three-shot lead over MJ Viljoen and Fredrik From at -14 heading into the third and final round.
The group would have a shotgun start at 06:15, so that they would be able to finish before the Rugby World Cup final at 11:00. Coetzee was on fire once again, as he put experience to good use, closing out a -6 round of 66 with a par on the par-5 18th to end on -20 for the week, which saw him hold off a charge from Viljoen who ended his week at -17.
Coetzee had enjoyed his week in Knysna, spending some time out on the lagoon fishing while not on the course. "I didn't have quite the same success with the rod in hand as I did on the course, but it was a great week," Coetzee said after his final round. "The course was also in great nick today [2 November], and I really had a blast out there."
It was also the first time Coetzee led a tournament from start to finish, something that was a goal of his. "I have always had a goal to secure a wire-to-wire victory, so it's great to finally achieve that goal."
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