WATCH as Brian Jones’ opening tee shot gets Halfway Toyota Margate Challenge under way

The Toyota Aygo is there to be won, provided you are the first person to ace the 16th this coming Saturday.

BRIAN Jones struck the opening shot of the annual Halfway Toyota Shelly Beach Margate Challenge earlier today (Thursday, April 20).

He is the dealer principal at the dealership based in Shelly Beach, and has supported this golf tournament for a number of years.

Brian was a rugby player in his younger days as opposed to golf, and so was somewhat reluctant to hit the opening shot, especially as a small crowd had gathered and the banter had begun in earnest.

“Are we safe here?” ventured Margate icon Ivan Curlewis as Brian started warming up.

Last year the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality mayor had the honour of hitting the opening shot.

“At least she made solid contact with the ball,” said Brian, anxiously.

“Last time I played golf was about 35 years ago. I got the ‘Longest Walk’ and haven’t played since,” he laughed.

Finally, the moment arrived. He teed it up, shadows spilling across the tee box in a fashion not unlike Augusta National.

There may not have been a Green Jacket at stake, but it’s possible Brian was feeling more pressure than Sergio Garcia.

Despite this, he took a reasonably long, surprisingly smooth backswing, despite a tiny ‘judder’ at the start.

The pivot was quite good, and then came a powerful leg drive as the arms followed through.

Had you just seen the swing, you could have been forgiven for thinking the ball shot down the fairway, some 280 metres or so.

Except it didn’t. Although there was much applause, it seems the ball may have dived into a hedge not too far away.

“I was a bit worried about my car, to be honest,” said his son Chris.

Whatever the case, Brian had done his bit and the tournament was underway.

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The golfers will play over three days, in betterball pairs.

There’s also the chance to win a Toyota Aygo for a hole-in-one on the 16th, a prize which to date has never been won in this tournament.


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David Rush
Sports Editor

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