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Stefan Terblanche & A.J. Venter

Jaco vd Westhuizen & Breyton Paulse

Mark Fish

by Matt Pearce

The fourteenth edition of the BCX Supersport Shootout returned for the second consecutive year to the magnificent Legend Golf and Safari Resort in Limpopo Province and, with the region having enjoyed good rains following the drought of the previous year, participants got to experience the estate in all its splendor.

On the subject of rain, it managed to dampen playing conditions but not spirits on day one of the tournament, with only nine holes able to be completed and all participants safely back in the superb clubhouse facility to watch an exciting Super Rugby local derby!

As usual the event brought together prominent members of the sporting, business and political communities for a good deal of fun, competitive spirit and, most importantly, the opportunity to raise significant funding for deserving and inspirational charity beneficiaries.

The BCX brand was rolled out for the first time as co-title sponsor with SuperSport, following the merger of Telkom Business and Business Connexion during the year following the 2016 event, to create the BCX business.

Just as he had captained Team Telkom in the first two editions of the Ryder Cup-styled team competition in 2015 and 2016, Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza led the BCX team, while Imtiaz Patel and Gideon Khobane served as co-captains for Team SuperSport, who had been defeated in the team competition the previous two years.

As expected, Captain Mabuza was full of confidence and banter at the welcome function on the Friday night, suggesting that if his team was successful in 2017 they should be able to keep the trophy forever.

In reply, the SuperSport captains suggested that there had been foul play in team selection in previous years and that in 2017 they were quietly confident of turning the tables and lifting the team trophy for the first time.

After the rain-shortened first round, Team SuperSport was already well on the way to achieving that goal, holding a commanding points lead heading in to the second day.

The Shootout has three events running concurrently; in addition to the team event there are the individual nett and betterball nett events and it was in the latter where the competition was particularly fierce.

One of the themes running through the 2017 event was the 10th anniversary of the Springboks’ victory in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, with a large number of that team making their way to Legend to remember, reminisce and celebrate together.

Two of their number, scrum-half Fourie du Preez off a four handicap and lock Victor Matfield off eleven, who say they play a great deal of golf against each other on their home course, came together as teammates in the betterball and proved that they are a formidable combination, leading at the halfway mark and squeaking home by a single shot following Sunday’s second round.

Earlier, tennis doubles legend Danie Visser and his partner, multiple SA squash champion Adrian Hansen had made a strong run to the finish, posting the clubhouse lead at 12-under par.

However, Du Preez and Matfield were in the final group and well aware of what was required. Despite a wobble at the par-3 17th hole where they both three-putted for bogey, they were able to secure the par-5 they required on the closing hole to stay one ahead of Visser and Hansen. Piet Chauke and Gavin Pratt were a further shot back on 11-under par.

Chauke, playing off a 14 handicap, had a superb second round on his own ball, coming strongly through the field to post a 27-hole total of 6-under par in the individual nett competition. He was neck and neck with Matfield coming down the final stretch, with the latter’s couple of bogeys over the closing holes proving costly.

His eventual total of 4-under par was good enough to take sole possession of second place, with Xavier Mokhande, off a 9-handicap, a further shot back in third on 3-under.

Ashwell Prince, defending individual champion Jaco van der Westhuyzen and Rishi Narain shared fourth on 2-under, with Tournament Director Kevin Curren the other player to finish under par on 1-under.

Sadly for Team BCX, there was simply too much ground to make up from their first day deficit and Team SuperSport cantered in for an emphatic victory, captains Patel and Khobane getting to lift the trophy for the first time.

As always the invited guests were in awe of the quality of the venue, the manner in which they were spoilt by the tournament’s generous sponsors and suppliers, and the ability of this unique event to deliver on its stated goal of making a tangible difference in the lives of those less fortunate than themselves.

The LIV Village charity, started and driven by a former Shootout winner, Tich Smith, along with the Legend African Foundation that does incredible work in schools and impoverished communities around the Legend Resort in Limpopo, were this year’s worthy beneficiaries with the total raised over the fourteen-year history of the event cruising through the R21 million mark.

It really was a case of legends coming together at Legend, to make a legendary difference.

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