MULLET BAY - Marc van Iersel has won the 2017 Club Champion Match Play competition of the St. Maarten Golf Association SMGA. This annual tournament, better known as the ‘Thomas R. Smith Challenge Cup’ is named after one of its founders and honorable member Tom Smith.
During a very exciting final between Marc Van Iersel and Jan Peter Holtland, Van Iersel was able to clinch the title and go 2UP with one hole to play after winning both holes 16 and 17. The victory didn’t come easily as Holtland came out with guns blazing and achieved as much as 4 up after eight holes by playing some extraordinary golf.
Nevertheless, Van Iersel kept his calm and was able to get the match back to all square by hole 12. After exchanging leads in the following holes, Van Iersel took a decisive lead on hole 16, a difficult par 5 along Mullet Bay Beach, after which he closed out the match with a eight foot par put on hole 17.
With thirty-seven participating members, playing in a knockout format, both Holtland and Van Iersel had won five previous matches before reaching the final. The Championship was sponsored by Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino who sponsored the first-round green fees of all participating players.
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