15th July 2015 | IGT Challenge Tour
Kent kills the monkey at Mowbray Classic
CAPE TOWN, 15 July 2015 – When it takes you a decade to lift your first professional title, you had better do so in style. Matthew Kent complied and broke his duck with an impressive come-from-behind victory in the IGT Cape’s Mowbray Classic on Wednesday.
Kent fired a final round four under 68 at Mowbray Golf Club to triumph by one stroke on seven-under-par 209 over Kuilsrivier golfer Dwayne Basson.
“I am so relieved that I’ve finally killed that monkey,” said the 28-year-old from Clovelly Golf Club.
“This win is the first step in the right direction on a very long road to get where I want to go, but you have to take that first step to get there.”
Kent started the final round three strokes behind 36-hole leader Trevor Mahoney.
“I bogeyed one and three, but I just told myself I would get it back. Then I made three quick birdies in a row at four, five and six and the chase was on.”
Kent picked up another string of birdies at nine, 10 and 11 to hit the front.
“I kept it going nicely down the back nine,” he said. “I made some solid putts to save par and I was striking the ball well. I have to admit, I was feeling the nerves over the last couple of holes and especially at 18, which is a longest par four at the course.
“It was playing into the wind and had a wicked pin placement at the back next to the water. I knew I would have to execute two perfect shots to get to that pin.
“I hit a solid tee shot and had 160 meters in. I aimed at the fat side and hit a perfect draw into the green and two-putted for the win.”
A couple of solid performances on the IGT Cape and a tie for sixth in the IGT Tour Gauteng’s Wanna Be A Champion Academy Classic last week boosted Kent’s confidence, but it was the swing and putting stroke that harked back to his glory days as South Africa’s top ranked amateur.
“My mate Joubert van Eeden and Andy Dill helped me a lot in the week before Serengeti,” Kent said.
“My swing was getting way too mechanical and tight. Joubert helped me to open it up and got me swinging more freely again and Andy helped me a lot with the rhythm and pace of my putting stroke.
“I felt really confident over the clubs and the putter at Serengeti and my coach Quintin (van den Berg) and I worked some more on this in the past week.
“It is quite difficult to describe the relief and elation of getting this first win under the belt. I think it’s unbelievable that Joubert helped me to win and then went and won himself in the Battle of the Giants on the same day. That’s got to be a good omen for both of us.”
Kent was hungry to secure a job on the game’s biggest stage and made his debut in the Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Sunshine Tour at just 17 years old. He made a couple of cuts over the next two years and earned a bit of cash, but he fell completely off the golfing radar when he tried to ply his craft in the United States.
The average Joe would just throw in the towel, put the past in the past and find a new direction.
But the country’s most promising golfer in 2005 has never been just an ordinary guy. A decade later, Kent is ready to do it all over again.
“When you have been away from the game so long, you can’t just jump back into it,” Kent said.
“The IGT Tour is great for amateurs looking to switch to the bigger stage and for guys like me, who need to get rust off and get back into competitive mode.
“I played quite a few tournaments on the IGT Tour in Gauteng last year and I went to Q-School, but I knew from the second round that I wasn’t ready at all.
“So I am competing full-time on the IGT Tour this year. Having the IGT Cape here at home has made a world of difference. It’s nice to switch it up and to have so many more events to compete in.”
Kent said that having Sunshine Tour winners like Christiaan Basson and Peter Karmis, and pros like Keenan Davidse, Adrian Ford and Trevor Mahoney on the IGT Cape raises the standard on the Tour.
“You push yourself harder and harder with those guys around,” he said.
“Now that I’ve broken through, I definitely want to win a few more. Thanks to the House of Machines, I’ve got R15,000 in the kitty now that can go towards flights, so I can play the IGT Cape and IGT Tour Gauteng.”
FINAL RESULT – TOP 20
209 Matthew Kent 72 69 68
210 Dwayne Basson 68 72 70; Trevor Mahoney 69 69 72
212 Drikus Bruyns 67 74 71
213 Keenan Davidse 70 70 73; Adrian Ford 68 72 73
214 Christiaan Basson 72 73 69; Heinrich Bruiners 74 68 72
215 Jean-Paul Strydom 76 70 69; Louis Claassen 72 72 71
217 Cameron Esau 70 69 78
218 Christiaan Bezuidenhout 74 69 75
219 Peter Karmis 71 74 74; Le Roux Ferreira 71 72 76
220 Johan Du Buisson 74 72 74
221 Albert Van Zyl (AMA) 73 76 72; Danie Pretorius 73 74 74
222 Paul Colditz (AMA) 79 74 69
223 Jason Diab 74 71 78
225 Marlon Swarts 74 74 77