By Michael Vlismas..
The St Francis Links will be the backdrop to one of the most successful Vodacom Origins of Golf series in its 13-year history when this Jack Nicklaus course hosts the national final of the series.
Following tournaments at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club, Sishen Golf Club, Simola Golf Estate, Arabella Country Estate and Euphoria Golf Estate, the top five pro-am teams from each have all qualified to play in next week’s final from 31 October to 5 November,
The amateurs will be competing for the title of national champion and an all-expenses paid trip to play golf in Mauritius, while the professionals will have an increased total purse of R750 000 to play for.
The final will also feature an added charity incentive as part of the series’ Birdies for Babies campaign.
Vodacom Clinic photo, supplied by Michael Vlismas
Under the 2016 Birdies for Babies drive, Vodacom agreed to donate R200 for every birdie made by a professional or amateur golfer in the two-day pro-am segment of the Vodacom Origins of Golf series.
A total of R428 200 has already been raised for the three charities of the Smile Foundation, New Beginningz and the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation.
For the final, Vodacom has agreed to double the amount per birdie from R200 to R400.
For Johannesburg golfer Zain Asmal, who claimed his first victory on the Vodacom Origins of Golf series when he and professional Mark Williams won the Simola Country Estate tournament, the charity element this year has been the highlight.
“It’s amazing. There is no price you can put on the experience of playing in a Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament. Playing alongside the Sunshine Tour professionals has been amazing and the lessons learnt have been enormous. I’ve never been to St Francis Links before but I know it’s going to be special as well. But I think the money we raised for the children was the real highlight for me,” he said.
Winners on the 2016 Vodacom Origins of Golf series:
Arabella: Amateur Navin Maharaj and professional Bryn Flanagan.
Euphoria: Amateur Louis Jardim and professional Steve Surry.
Simola: Amateur Zain Asmal and professional Mark Williams.
Sishen: Amateur Japie van Dyk and professional Theunis Spangenberg.
Wild Coast: Amateur Siegfried Roux and professional Jake Roos.