KPMG NMMU Golf Club member Luke Jerling continued a memorable year at Humewood by winning the club’s Silver Salver competition by three shots at the links course on Sunday.
In conditions which saw the wind pick up in the afternoon, the 24-year-old Jerling shot rounds of 69 and 74 for an overall total of 143, finishing ahead of Gert Trytsman (76-70) and Naldo Claasen (73-73).
Earlier this year, Jerling led the Madibaz to victory in the University Sport South Africa (USSA) golf tournament at Humewood. They captured the team strokeplay and matchplay titles, while the NMMU number one also claimed the individual strokeplay crown.
It was the second triumph in the Silver Salver for Jerling, having first won the title in 2010 before he left for the United States on a golfing scholarship.
Jerling said it “was nice to get the victory again” and added that the experience gained in his time in the US had helped him from a mental point of view.
He added that doing well in the USSA tournament had also given him confidence to tackle the course.
“In the past I have never really played that well at Humewood, but now I am starting to come to grips with it,” he said. “I have worked out a game plan and that is definitely one of the things playing in America taught me.
“With my golf getting a bit better it’s nice when you can implement a game plan which works to your advantage.
“I have been trying to focus on that because it is not always just a case of taking the driver off the tee and trying to attack all the pins. A lot of the pins were in tricky positions and that’s where you can lose shots.”
Jerling said his opening round of 69 had set him up for the win because he knew there would not be many low scores in the afternoon.
“The weather was pretty good in the morning and I was able to take advantage of it coming downwind on holes 15, 16 and 17.
“Then it started to blow a bit in the afternoon and it was a bit tougher.
The Madibaz student, who is doing a post-graduate course in financial planning, said he did not play as well in the afternoon but managed to keep his game together.
“I knew I just had to play a steady round in the afternoon as the wind picked up to around 30km/h and was gusting quite a bit.”
Jerling, who also won the Prince’s Grant Amateur tournament in KwaZulu-Natal this year, said he valued his triumph in the Silver Salver.
“It is one of the more prestigious events in EP golf and there are quality names on the trophy. It was a good one to win.”
His success is providing a springboard for the former Grey High pupil to enter the professional ranks next year.
“I am going to the Sunshine Tour qualifying school, which I believe has been moved to March,” he said. “I will finish my post-grad course this year and then will definitely pursue Q-school.”