28th April 2015 | IGT Challenge Tour

Atkinson doubles up at Durban Country Club

Atkinson doubles up at Durban Country Club

(PHOTO – Gareth Atkinson; credit IGT KZN)GarethAtkinson

DURBAN, 28 April 2015 – Gareth Atkinson got a little too cute with the closing hole at Durban Country Club and paid with a bogey, but the Kloof amateur had so many shots in hand, he could be forgiven for the little lapse in concentration.

After braving the gusty conditions to post an opening 75, the 25-year-old closed with a respectable two under 70 to claim his second IGT Tour KZN victory on one-over-par 145 on Tuesday.

Fellow Kloof league player Marc van Deventer finished five stroke back after rounds of 74 and 76.

Jens Hillermann and Rajen Sewgolum shared third on 153, while amateur Malcolm Mitchell revelled in a 10-shot swing after his opening 82 to finish in fourth on 10 over.

Atkinson won the season opening KZN Summer Swing Cotswold and was extremely pleased to convert a recent runner-up finish at Beachwood with victory in the KZN Summer Swing Durban Country Club, sponsored by Weiss VW.

“So far, so good,” said the IGT KZN Money Leader.

“I set myself three goals this year and I’m working really hard to achieve them. A friend of my father’s is backing me financially and that gives me the freedom to play golf full-time this year.

“I played in the SA U-23 Inter-Provincial and I really want to make the KZN team for the premier SA Inter-Provincial this year to gain some more experience. Then I want to win the Race to Q-School and then I want to get my card for the Sunshine Tour.

“It’s a tough life we pick, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Atkinson was doing quite well in the three-club wind that terrorised the field in the first round until a seven at the par-four seventh nearly derailed his round.

“The triple bogey nearly killed my challenge,” he said. “I rallied with seven pars and two birdies on the back nine to take the sting out of the triple, but I knew I would have to get it back to even-par to win the tournament.”

Atkinson eliminated a bogey start with a birdie at the second, and reversed the damage of another bogey at the fifth with back-to-back birdies at six and seven. He turned one under and dipped to three under with further gains at the 12th and 14th holes.

“I just played very steady golf,” he said. “Lots of fairways and greens. Where I couldn’t get close, I played for the middle of the green and lagged it close for par.

“I should have used some caution at the 18th, but instead I had an outside go for the green and missed it completely. That’s the price you pay for getting too casual, but I’m still pretty pleased with the way I played the other 17 holes.”

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