James Young, known in-game as Young46, successfully defended his Nedbank Golf Challenge eTour title with a 2up victory over JSmithers. It was fitting that the final regular event of the European eTour season delivered virtual golf of the highest quality, with both players making several birdies throughout the match.
Young, who resides in Ohio, in the United States, was determined to retain his Nedbank crown having won the tournament last year, and after going two up through six he was not going to let his advantage slip. Jsmithers had a few putts narrowly slip by the hole in the final including an important eagle putt on the 13th, which could have been the spark that Smith needed to launch a comeback.
“I just had four putts in the final that slipped by, and I lost two down. That’s the difference, when you are facing an opponent of the caliber of Young46, it is these fine margins that will decide matches,” said Smith.
Young46 was elated to have retained his title. He was feeling confident prior to the event, having had a solid eTour season so far with a runner up and two semifinal appearances in the first four events. Young will be hoping to carry this winning form into the Global Finals next month and emphasized his determination to finish the season as the number one eTour player.
“I feel so good, and I’m going to practice so hard for the Grand Final”. Young also has some special plans for the $5,000 USD first place prize: “It is my 20th wedding anniversary, and I am going to take my wife on a trip.
I can’t wait”. On his way the final Young defeated the current eTour Global Champion, Golfx3 in the semis. In a similar vein to the final, Young finished on the right side of a 2up score line, but he will have been relieved to get over the line having been 5 up at one point in the match.
In the other side of the bracket, Jsmithers defeated Shefuf in his semi-final match. It was a comfortable 4&3 victory, with the highlight of the match came on the 13th, when JSmithers recorded the first ever eTour albatross hole-in-one on a par 4.
After the loss, Shefuf said: “That hole in one really took the wind out of my sails. But I don’t mind as it was JSmithers. He played awesome, so deserved the win”. In the quarter finals, JSmithers defeated debutant IAG12 and Shefuf beat gerhardj1.
On the other half of the bracket, Young46 defeated Stuman66 and golfx3 defeated fmagnets. After the Nedbank Golf Challenge, the eight qualifiers have now been decided for the last event of the 2021 season, the Global Finals.