Kamte wins at Glendower

2011-10-30 15:13
James Kamte (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - James Kamte underlined his reputation as a force in South African golf when he defeated Dawie van der Walt at the first extra hole to secure the BMG Classic title at Glendower Golf Club on Sunday.

His final round of 64 gave him a total of 207 tied with Van der Walt.

The 25-year-old was thrilled to break a two year winning drought on his home course.

"This is unbelievable," said Kamte.

"I've had two tough years with injury and I just recently started playing well again.

"This victory has come just when I felt I was playing my best golf again.

There were a lot of guys out there challenging today and I knew I would have to put in an incredible performance today. It's great to know that I've got my game back and that I could pull it off when I needed to."

It was a congested final day's leaderboard, with five players in with a chance down the home stretch. JG Claassen, Shaun Norris and defending champion Brandon Pieters all had opportunities to steal victory throughout the day.

In the end, it came down to an extra time battle between Kamte and Van der Walt.

It could have gone Kamte's way, had his birdie putt at the 18th moved a few centimetres to the left, but as things ended, the two players went back to the 18th tee to determine a winner.

Kamte torpedoed a 322-meter drive down the middle of the 18th fairway and finished 90 meters short of the green. Van der Walt also found the perfect position down the right of the fairway, but he was a further 20 meters back.

"I planned that shot," said Kamte.

"Tiger Woods told me that in a play-off you have to intimidate your opponent and convert your advantage, so I practice those shots, It came out perfectly."

Kamte's lob wedge pitched at the top of the green and spun back, leaving him with a 10-foot putt while Van der Walt's approach pitched just below the flag and spun back to about 25-foot. He lagged his putt to an inch from the hole and tapped in for par.

The pressure was now on Kamte to hole out for birdie and he responded well with a putt that never looked like missing.

"I had that same putt in regulation play."

"I wasn't going to miss it again."

Kamte's fourth Sunshine Tour victory comes two years after he won the Asian Tour International on the Asian Tour. For the last two years, the Eastern Cape professional has struggled with injury after a surfing accident.

"I tried to surf with Anton Haig and Pablo Larrazabal but I should have stayed out of the water. I injured my right knee and right wrist and it's been a long road back to recovery.

"I'm just so happy. I came to win this week and I pulled it off. It's a really great feeling to be back to form."

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