Tree retains Gauteng North Open Championship

Toby Tree
Toby Tree

WORTHING Golf Club’s Toby Tree experienced a touch of déjà vu last month when he won the Gauteng North Open Championship in South Africa for the second successive year.

A closing round of 71 for a total of 281, seven under par, saw the England international secure a one-stroke winning margin over the fast-finishing Zander Lombard and two more South Africans.

The 19-year-old from Worthing found himself four shots off the lead after an opening level-par 72 but he followed up with 67 for 139 and a share of the lead.

A third-round 71 for 210 left Tree four behind going into the final round, the lead being taken over by Haydn Porteous, with a superb 66.

However, while Porteous fell back with 76 on the final day, Tree responded with another 71 to secure a narrow victory, one clear of Lombard with 67, Porteous and Jason Smith, also with 71.

Tree, who made his full England debut last year, is now competing in a four-man England team for the Ten Nations Cup at Kingswood Golf Club in South Africa, until Saturday.

He then takes part in the South African Stroke Play Championship, which has a field of 144 players, which runs from Tuesday until February 15.