Matthew Spagnoletti used his booming drives to post a pair of two-over-par 74s at the weekend to win Randpark’s Senior Championship on 148.
“Yeah, I guess I’m naturally quite a long hitter,” said Matthew whose shot-gun tee-shots are often 300 metres plus. “But I’ve also added a bit of distance thanks to PowerBlast’s Theo Heinrich right here at the club. I’ve been doing Theo’s golf specific conditioning programme and it’s definitely made a difference. Of course I may be long off the tee but it doesn’t always go straight! But fortunately, I was pretty straight this weekend.
“I started playing this game when I was 24, I’ve just turned 50 and I’m a golf nut. I came close to winning a few club championships before I was 50 but never managed to finally get over the line. So this win is a first and I feel, for me, it’s quite an achievement. I also had my lucky shorts on!” he added, referring to this extraordinarily brightly coloured part of his attire.
He said one of the highlights of his 74 on the Sunday was a birdie three at the tough par-4 10th hole where, after driving into the trees, he holed a bunker shot for a birdie three. “And, you know, sometimes you get lucky in golf. At the 14th on Bushwillow on the Saturday, I nearly went out of bounds. But the ball just stayed in by a whisker and I managed to salvage a very welcome par.”
Matthew revealed that he has been playing golf around the country recently and hasn’t found a course with greens as good as Randpark’s. “Our putting surfaces are immaculate and must be the best around right now.” He also spoke of a pre-tournament scare. “I’ve just been in Cape Town where I played a few courses and, because of a mix-up with flights, only flew back to Joburg on Saturday morning to arrive on the tee just in time for the club champs so that was a bit of a worry but fortunately things worked out just fine!”
Sean Quigley finished second in the gross competition on 150, courtesy of a pair of 75s, with Johann Nel (152) third, Rouaan Bredenkamp fourth on 154 and Brett Herselman fifth on 155. Rouaan opened up with a superb 70 on Bushwillow to lead after day one but crashed to an 84 on the Sunday.
In the Super Seniors for the over 60s sweet-swinging club stalwart Valda Ford, a day after her 60th birthday, took top honours with a two-round aggregate of 159 after a 79 on Bushwillow and an 80 on Firethorn. “I started off so well on the Saturday by playing Bushwillow’s back nine (and most will agree that it’s the harder nine) in one-over-par 37. Highlight was the 14th where I hit a drive and a beautiful rescue approach to about two feet and made the putt for birdie.”
Jane Merrylees also posted an opening 79 and both her and Valda played the first nine on Firethorn on Sunday in 39 strokes. “So we were both dead even after 27 holes and it was quite a fight,” said Valda. “But I love the competition that this game offers, and I’m very competitive, and I was just happy to hold on.”
Les du Preez on 164 finished second in the Super Seniors with Danie Gouws next best on 170. Jonathan Bamber on 70 had the best gross on day one and Arthur Heinrich on 78 the best gross on day two.
In the over 50s nett, Wayne Pienaar on 143 took top honours on count out from Merrylees with Mark Huet third on 144. And in the Stableford competition perennial winner Elca Faure topped the leaderboard on 78 (37-41) points followed by Valda on 76 with Michael Simpson (74) third.
For a complete list of all the winners and detailed results, please click here.
Written by Randpark member Grant Winter.