All to play for as Plett Country Club shows its teeth at Senior Open
High scores were aplenty as Round 3 of the SA Senior Open Championship Hosted by Bitou Municipality took place at the Plettenberg Bay Country Club. The second day of clear skies and warmer conditions did little to help as tight pin positions and fast greens saw only four golfers score under par for the day.
Following two days of amazing golf by Mark McNulty that saw him complete two successive rounds bogey free, McNulty began the third round with 3 consecutive bogeys on the second, third and fourth. He managed to rescue his round slightly with a couple of birdies but a double bogey on the 17th held him back to finish the day on 4-over and 2-under for the tournament. He will now have a fight on his hands to take home back-to-titles as he sits only 2 shots clear of second placed Roger Wessels.
Wessels was in superb form as he was the only man to enter the turn 1-under due to his birdie on the 7th. A bogey on the 12th was quickly forgotten about though with two birdies on the 13th and 14th seeing him on the way to finish his day on 2-under. Wessels, who represented South Africa in the 1994 Golf World Cup, will now aim to outpower McNulty on Friday with his intimidating size and power and take home the title for the first time in his career.
2017 SA Masters champion Kevin Stone, who shot the lowest round of day two, began the third round well with birdies on the 4th and 7th but was brought back down to even on the 8th following a three-putt double bogey. The difficult back nine though saw him score 3-over as he ends his day in third place one shot back of Roger Wessels and 5 shots off the lead.
The chasing pack features Michael Green who birdied three of the last four holes, and Laurison Mahlangu with 3 birdies on the back nine, who are in a tie for fourth and both ending the day 5 shots off the pace on 4-over.
The big mover of the day saw the pre-tournament dark horse Gary Thompson shoot a 2-under 70 to move into 4th place having started the day in T17. His 5 birdies were unluckily blighted by the bounce of the ball on the tenth after his tee shot hit the cart path and bounced out of bounds, leading him to mark a double bogey for the hole. The Zimbabwean, who is a well-regarded media mogul and is the President of the Zimbabwe Golf Association, now sits in tied for 5th position having started it tied for 17.
The final round will begin at 8:00 at Plettenberg Bay Country Club, with a very exciting days play expected to see who is crowned the 2018 SA Senior Open Champion. Entry is free for the public so come down and watch some truly world class golf.
Hosted by Bitou Municipality, the SA Senior Open continues on Thursday before Friday’s final round, when the remaining 56 Senior Professional’s tee off at 08:00 with a two tee start at the 1st and the 10th at Plettenberg Bay Country Club.
About the Sunshine Senior Tour
The newly branded Sunshine Senior Tour, has resulted between a partnership with the SA Senior Tour and the Sunshine Tour, under a license agreement for professional members aged 50 and older in South Africa. The tour structure aims to provide a competitive tournament schedule to accommodate the membership and grow senior professional golf in SA.
In 2017, a partnership was formed with the Endangered Wildlife Trust in which a percentage of the total prize fund is donated to support a specific endangered animal in the region a tournament is held. This will continue and the Humpback Dolphin will again be the deserving recipient.
The SA Senior Open runs from Tuesday 2nd October to Friday 5th October 2018 and is supported by Bitou Municipality, Plett Tourism, Seeff Plettenberg Bay, Avis SA, Tsogo Sun, PenBev, Tsitsikamma Water, Stella Artois, Sunshine Tour, Golf RSA, Plettenberg Bay Country Club and Accelerate Sport.