GEORGE (25 October 2013) – Gavin van Aswegen thought life could not get any better after his son Tyrone secured his card for the 2014 PGA Tour in September, but barely a month later, the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington golfer celebrated an emotional victory in the Indwe Risk Services SA Senior Amateur Open Championship at Fancourt.
Van Aswegen followed an opening 71 at the Montagu with a 74 in the second round at the Outeniqua for a one-over-par 145 total, and took one shot lead over defending champion Mellette Hendrikse, leading SA senior Francois le Roux and Thys Marais into the final round at the Montagu.
But, in a season where the elements have so often shaped the outcome of events, Mother Nature once again ruled the roost.
With play barely underway, lighting, thunder and torrential rain rendered the course unplayable and eventually forced the cancellation of the final round.
This wiped out the chance of back-to-back titles for Hendrikse or a first Indwe SA Senior Amateur Open title for Le Roux, but for 59-year-year old Van Aswegen, it erased a decade of close calls when he lifted the most prized title on the senior amateur circuit.
For Van Aswegen, it signalled the ultimate reward in a golfing career spanning 25 years.
“I didn’t even register at when they cancelled the final round but when the penny dropped, it was pretty unbelievable,” the Bedfordview golfer said. “I have been trying for a decade to win this thing. I’ve had three third place finishes and came sixth twice and now, I’ve finally done it.
“Just like every young golfer dreams of winning the South African Open, every amateur over 50 wants to hold the South African Senior Amateur Open trophy just once. I am so thankful to Indwe Risk Services for their sponsorship and for giving us the chance to chase our dream, because this really is a dream come true for me.”
Van Aswegen won the North West Senior Open just two weeks before travelling to George and was well prepared to go into battle with Hendrikse, Le Roux and Marais.
“I knew the boys would be on my back as soon as we teed off, but I came into some good form in Rusternburg and I was ready to take them on,” said Van Aswegen.
I spoke to my boy in America and he gave me a great pep talk and I slept well. I was very relaxed going into the final round. I actually felt a sense of disappointment when the round was called off, but I’m telling you, the joy I’m feeling right now more than makes up for it.
“I think we will be celebrating this long into the night. Now Tyrone just has to win in the United States and that will really cap the best year of my life!”
TOP 10 LEADERBOARD
145 – Gavin Van Aswegen (71, 74)
146 – Mellette Hendrikse (73, 73), Thys Marais (72, 74), Francois le Roux (71, 75)
147 – Adrian Kriel (73, 74), Lawrence Franklin (72, 75), David Konzani (72, 75), Leon Scheepers (70, 77)
148 – Christo Reyneke (76, 72)
149 – Wilhelm De Kock (78, 71), Schalk Naude (74, 75)