10th June 2015 | IGT Challenge Tour
Ford motors to victory at Milnerton Classic
CAPE TOWN, 10 June 2015 – Keenan Davidse notched a hat-trick of birdies over the last four holes at the Milnerton Links, but it was all too little too late as Adrian Ford powered to his first IGT Cape win with a flawless seven-under-par 64 in the Milnerton Classic on Wednesday.
Helped by two eagles and three birdies, Ford soared to 11-under-par 202 and finished a stroke clear of Davidse (69) and two shots ahead of fellow Sunshine Tour professional JP Strydom (66).
The 28-year-old Ford began the final round three shots off the pace from co-leaders Davidse and Drikus Bruyns.
After an early birdie at the par-four second, the Durbanville professional parred his way to the turn, but an eagle-three at the 10th gave his title hunt a much-needed injection.
“The front nine was fairly frustrating, because the putts didn’t drop, but a clean card is always a bonus, though, so I just stayed patient,” said Ford.
“I hit a fairly good drive at the 10th and had 210 meters left to the pin. I hit a three-wood to 20 feet and made the putt for the eagle. At the 14th, I hit a three-iron off the tee and had 110 meters to the pin. I saw the ball clear the bunker in front of the green, but I had no idea that I holed out for another eagle until my playing partners started yelling.”
With Davidse hitting his stride, Ford knew he needed to make some birdies.
“I knocked one in at the 16th and drained another long putt for birdie at the 17th, but I knew that was it for the round,” he said.
“The 18th is a tough hole and they tucked the pin back left, so your options are limited. If you hit it a little too left, you’re in the water and if you hit it long, you face a really tough chip. I hit my second just short of the green, two-putted for par and prayed that Keenan didn’t make birdie.”
Davidse also closed with par, handing an anxious Ford victory and the winner’s cheque worth R12,000, sponsored by The House of Machines.
Ford co-led with Davidse in the IGT Cape’s inaugural Metropolitan Classic after both players carded 65s, but too many mistakes undermined his chance of a grandstand finish. He was pleased to have a chance to make amends.
“I am really thrilled that I was able to play solid golf for three successive rounds with the minimum mistakes and I have to credit my caddie, Francois Olivier, for some of this success,” Ford said.
“In every tournament this year on the Sunshine Tour there has been one bad round that has cost me dearly and I was determined to get it right this week. I had four bogeys in the first round, just two in the second and none today and that’s a great feeling.
“Francois and I gelled really well and he kept me nice and patient, which was key to my round. I’m really pleased that we have the IGT Tour in the Western Cape now.
“It’s nice to have some events to work on stuff and to keep competitive. It was great to see a whole bunch of Sunshine Tour pros competing this week. It keeps you on your toes and hungry.
“I think the IGT Cape is great for the amateurs, too. It gets expensive to travel to the IGT Tour in Gauteng and this gives them the same benefits as the amateurs up-country have. You could see that they really enjoyed the chance to give us some stick and it’s really good on-the-job training for them.”
The next stop on the IGT Cape schedule is Kuilsriver Golf Club for the Kuilsriver Classic from 22-25 June.
FINAL RESULT – Top 15
202 Adrian Ford 72 66 64
203 Keenan Davidse 66 69 68
204 Jean-Paul Strydom 71 66 67
205 Luke Trocado (AMA) 68 68 69
206 Drikus Bruyns 68 67 71
207 Le Roux Ferreira 71 67 69
211 Heinrich Bruiners 72 71 68
213 Carlo O’Reilly (AMA) 67 72 74
217 Peter Karmis 68 73 76
218 Cameron Esau 75 70 73
219 Christopher Van der Merwe (AMA) 73 73 73
221 Darren Dunlop (AMA) 71 75 75
222 Michael Jooste (AMA) 74 76 72
225 Pieter Woest 75 77 73
227 Namwoo Lee (AMA) 74 76 77
PHOTO – Milnerton Classic champion Adrian Ford and his caddie, Francois Olivier;; credit IGT Cape.