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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 273
• South African President, F.W de Klerk, promises to free Nelson Mandela after 27 years of imprisonment and legalise the African National Congress (ANC). • The 14th Commonwealth Games close in Auckland. Australia wins the medal count, collecting 164 medals (52 of which are gold). • New Zealand’s Sir Richard Hadlee takes his 400th test wicket after dismissing Sanjay Manjrekar. “Paddles” would eventually finish his test career with 431 wickets. • Larry Bird ends his NBA free throw streak, having made 71 consecutive foul shots across 18 games. ALSO MAKING NEWS THIS WEEK IN 1990 THIS WEEK IN ... 1990 MATTRESS TESTER WINS AUSSIE MATCHPLAY WORDS BY MICHAEL JONES M OST golf tournaments have a tendency to present us with winners we have come to know and appreciate. But every now and then, a name will surface that leaves us uttering, “Who?” This corresponding week, in 1990, a former mattress tester named David Smith defeated Peter Fowler 4&2 to win the Mercedes Benz Australian Match Play Championship at Kingston Health. Smith, who began playing golf in a paddock behind his parents’ house using jam tins as holes, overcame the likes of Tim Elliot, Mike Harwood, John Clifford and Mike Clayton to reach the final against Fowler. “I feel absolutely fantastic about it,” Smith said after being presented with the $36,000 winner’s cheque. “I am at a loss for words ... It will probably dawn on me after I’ve had a few beers tonight.” Smith, 30, had previously represented Australia in the Eisenhower Cup as an amateur and finished 33rd on the Australian Order of Merit in 1989. But his career had never reached such heights as it did when he defeated Fowler – a Kingston Heath specialist – on the 34th hole of the final match. “I just played terribly,” said Fowler, who was the hot favourite to win the event. “My rhythm was out. I have played seven rounds this week so it has been pretty hard. I was tired when it started this morning, although that is not an excuse. David must have felt tired, too.” The atmosphere of the final was described by reporters as that of a pennant final because the crowd was unrestricted by gallery ropes – which caused major delays, especially because both Fowler and Smith were known for their slow play. But after four years of grinding away on the pro circuit, David Smith had finally broken through for his maiden victory. E
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