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Somerset West Golf Club is located in the foothills of the Helderberg Mountains and prides itself on being one of the region’s most friendly clubs. Its wide variety of holes welcomes players of all abilities, including traditional tree-lined (parkland) holes and links holes inspired by the Scottish coast.

Cooper’s reputation for winning on the Premier Amateur Tour has become his hallmark. His three consecutive wins and four for the year put him 11,50 points ahead of Jack Buchanan on the PAT Order of Merit.

Matthew Cooper (Clovelly) prevails over Elmo Barnard (Strand) in a three-hole play-off.

The first play-off hole was played in typical par fashion. As the second play-off hole progressed, both players struck identical tee shots, however, their approach shots resembled scenes from a fairy-tale. Despite hitting his tee shot way right and encountering tree issues, Barnard found his way to six feet by manoeuvring between two overhanging branches. Cooper was required to control the trajectory of his ball and spin out of moist rough, hitting a career-best shot to one foot, almost holing out for an eagle. Making birdies on the second play-off hole, both players were pumped up and marched back to the 18th, not showing any signs of defeat.

It’s clear Barnard had a strategy in mind hitting his tee shots within 6 feet of one another. Following a hook shot around the trees, his second shot to the green ended up at the back of the green, leaving him with a downhill putt. Cooper’s least successful drive ended up in the rough on the left side of the fairway, presenting him with an extra club into the green. A tentative over-the-top swing left his second shot pin high but right of the green. Cooper hit a well struck chip shot to two feet. The opportunity for Barnard to seal the deal presented itself, but he misjudged the pace of the downhill slope and rolled the putt 15 feet beyond the hole. Barnard lined up his second putt, in an attempt to force a fourth play-off, but he was unable to maintain his poise and missed his putt, resulting in Cooper’s victory.

The round of the day belonged to Donovon Liddicoat (Stellenbosch), who carded a 67 (-5) in round 2, but had his chances dashed by an uncharacteristic 77 in round one.

Former Springbok player Ralph Fransman (Somerset West) displayed impressive skill as he won the Mid-Amateur Section by an unprecedented eight shots. Fransman shot 72 and 69 (141), one shot short of forcing a play-off against the young guns after recording seven birdies and one eagle during his rounds.

Isabella Crafford (Strand), who carded respectable rounds of 78 and 78 (156), finished nine shots ahead of her nearest rival Candice Woodbridge (Atlantic Beach) with rounds of 81 and 84.

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