Garry Houston posted five successive under-par rounds to repel the challenge of defending champion Julien Gressier and win the fourth World Club Pro-Am in South Africa.
Houston, who is based at Carden Park in Cheshire, was 10-under-par for the five rounds and amassed 190 points in the Stableford format event supported by the PGA of South Africa.
All of which left Gressier six points adrift in second place and Houston taking home the winner’s cheque for USD$15,850 as well as the trophy.
Commenting on his victory, Houston, a Welshman, said: “Financially it’s obviously a good thing and its great to start the season so early with a win. And to break par every round was quite an achievement.”
However, Houston, a winner on the Challenge Tour, felt he won despite not being at his best.
“Some weeks you can play really well and not score well,” he added. But this was one of those weeks where I really didn’t play like I can play, but I ground out a score every single day for the five rounds.
“I know moving forward the things I have to work on…that will be my goal, to get my game where I would like it to be.
“But overall, I’m really excited. I played with the defending champion in the last round, so I knew he would be strong and it was great to come over the line at the end.”
Gressier (PGA of France), was two points off the lead after the fourth round but carded a three-over round of 75 (33 points) to fall six points short of defending his title.
Pierre van Vuuren (PGA of South Africa), started the day level on points with Houston, but was unable to match strides with the eventual winner, only managing to make two birdies in his 31 point round (+5) to finish tied second with Gressier on 184 points (-4).
However, van Vuuren did lead Team Serengeti to a wire-to-wire success in the four-round Team Pro-Am Competition. He, along with amateurs John-Miles Griffiths, Izak Ludick and Hennie Lamprecht, finished with a total of 367 points (-79), after their final round of 92 points (-20).
They were the only team to score over 90 points in each of the rounds and were three points clear of Team Windsor Park, led by Nisharlan Sewshanker (PGA of South Africa), who scored 95 points (-23) in their final round, to give them 364 points (-76) in total.
Completing the top three with 355 points, was Team Strand 2 led by PGA of South Africa Professional, Morne Jurgens.