Mellette Hendrikse warmed up for his defence of this month’s INDWE South African Senior Amateur championship at Humewood by winning the KZN Spring Classic at Durban Country Club.
“Conditions weren’t easy as it was blowing quite hard,” said the country’s No 1 ranked senior amateur after posting his fourth win of the year, this time with rounds of 76 and 74 for a 150 total.
“The key at Durban Country Club is to keep the big numbers off the card because there are some holes that can bite you hard if you don’t keep the ball in play. But there are also holes that can give you something, and I was able to capitalise,” added Mellette, Operations Manager at the Gauteng North Golf Union.
“It’s not that easy playing at the coast for us inland competitors because you have to make adjustments for both altitude and the wind, so I was very pleased with this win.”
Hendrikse, who plays out of Akasia, said Durban Country Club remains one of the country’s top courses. “It has been and always will be. And the greens for the Spring Classic were better than they were the last two times we played here, helping to retain the place’s rich integrity,” added this talented senior who finished just one shot ahead of Humewood’s David Konzani and GR Forman of Mt Edgecombe.
Maritzburg GC’s Morgan Phillips and Somerset West’s Francois le Roux tied for fourth on 152.
Turning to his defence of the SA Senior Amateur crown, Hendrikse – who turned 55 last in September – said he was fired up for it but was expecting some tough opposition, especially from Konzani on his home course and EP stalwart Mzuyanda Zingela, both of whom have enjoyed exceptional seasons.
“But I’m not scared, and why do we play this game if not to try and win? I have played two interprovincials at Humewood although not since they put in the new bent grass greens. So it’ll be a new experience. I do think Humewood, like Durban Country Club, is about keeping the ball in play and that’s my strong point.
“As for being number one, it’s tough getting there but even tougher staying there as the only way to go from there is down. But I’m glad we’re playing four rounds instead of three this year. I tend to get better as a tournament progresses and the longer the better for me. I find if I’m doing something wrong, I can fix it along the way,” said Mellette who is trying for his third SA Senior Amateur Open victory.