Easton wins at Sun City

2012-05-26 16:52
Bryce Easton (Gallo Images)
Sun City - Bryce Easton produced his second eagle of the day on Saturday on the 18th at the Lost City Golf Course to win a four-man sudden-death playoff for the R550 000 Sun City Challenge.

“The hole kind of sets up for me,” he said, “so I could fade the ball into the pin, even though it was close to the water.”

He deposited his approach in regulation play about 10 feet from the hole, and boxed the putt. He did almost exactly the same thing in the playoff, putting the pressure on Brandon Pieters who was 20 foot from the pin.

The other two in the playoff were Andrew Georgiou and Allan Versfeld: Georgiou had put his third within birdie range, but missed, and Versfeld flew the green and was unable to get up and down for birdie – so they were out.

Pieters’ eagle putted lipped cruelly out, and Georgiou went close with his birdie putt, so it was all down to a repeat performance by Easton, and the putt didn’t look like missing.

“Once I got to 18, I was a bit surprised to see the lead was nine-under,” said Easton, who had battled his way around the final round and was two-over heading down the last.

“Once I saw I had a chance, it became a little easier knowing exactly what I had to do,” he said. And those two approach shots – the one in regulation and the other in the playoff – put huge pressure on his competitors.

In the end, it was enough for the win, but it was a close-run thing.

The four all took different routes into the playoff. Easton eagled the 18th, Versfeld made birdie, Georgiou a par, and Pieters dropped a shot as the quartet all finished on nine-under-par 207 and made their way down the 18th one more time for the sudden-death playoff.

James Kamte had a shot at winning the thing outright before that, too: He had a relatively easy second shot into the 18th, and an eagle would have given him victory, a birdie a spot in te ever-expanding playoff.

But he pushed his approach into the water on the right of the 18th green, and although he made a good up-and-down for par, he had let his chance slip – probably even earlier than that final error when he made three bogeys in five holes at the start of the final nine.

For Easton, it was the culmination of a process which got underway when he won the first Sunshine Big Easy Tour event last year, and then got a second-place finish behind Oliver Bekker in the Northern Cape Classic.

“I have been playing well, but haven’t managed to put together three or four consecutive good rounds,” he said.

When he closed with three consecutive birdies in his second round, he put himself into a position to change that – and two consecutive eagles saw his career take flight.

Scores (RSA unless specified):

207 - Bryce Easton 66 69 72 (won on first playoff hole)
207 - Allan Versfeld 66 72 69, Brandon Pieters 65 71 71, Andrew Georgiou 66 70 71
208 - Theunis Spangenberg 69 72 67, Justin Walters 70 67 71, James Kamte 69 65 74
209 - Jake Roos 73 70 66, Des Terblanche 71 68 70, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 68 70 71, Grant Muller 70 67 72, Johan du Buisson 66 71 72
211 - Jacques Blaauw 71 70 70, Merrick Bremner 70 70 71, Doug McGuigan 68 71 72, Oliver Bekker 69 68 74, Callie Swart 67 69 75
212 - Ryan Tipping 73 69 70, Ulrich van den Berg 72 68 72
213 - Lindani Ndwandwe 70 71 72, Jake Redman 69 70 74
214 - Toto Thimba jnr 67 73 74, Daniel Hammond 66 74 74, Louis de Jager 71 69 74
215 - Christiaan Basson 72 71 72, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 70 73 72, Danie van Tonder 69 73 73
216 - Dean O'Riley 72 72 72, Colin Nel 71 73 72, Alan Michell 76 68 72, Jaco Ahlers 74 70 72, Jean Hugo 71 72 73, Ruan de Smidt 71 72 73, Morne Buys 72 70 74
217 - Ross Wellington 73 71 73, Trevor Fisher Jnr 66 72 79
218 - Shaun Norris 71 72 75, Titch Moore 70 72 76, Hendrik Buhrmann 71 70 77
219 - Desvonde Botes 70 74 75
220 - Divan van den Heever 72 72 76
221 - Andre Cruse 71 69 81

Read more on:    bryce easton  |  golf

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