Sunshine Tour

Blaauw wins at Simola

2013-06-07 14:57
Jacques Blaauw (Gallo Images)
Knysna - Jacques Blaauw sealed his maiden professional victory with a dramatic eagle-two on the 16th hole at Simola Golf and Country Estate as he won the R600 000 Vodacom Origins of Golf event there.

That gave him a one-stroke edge from a pack that was ahead of him for much of his round, and then snapping at his heels over the final holes: Danie van Tonder, Neil Schietekat and PH McIntyre shared second on 11-under-par 205 for the 54-hole event, one stroke behind Blaauw.

“I had 147 yards to the flag on 16,” said Blaauw.

“It was a bit long for me, so I had to hid quite a hard wedge, and luckily for me, it pitched, spun back about five metres and went in the hole. A fluke, really, but I’ll take it.”

He had said he would be nervous as he slept on a one-shot lead over Schietekat overnight, but he seemed unprepared for exactly how nervous he would be. “I was really tense on the first three holes, and then I missed a little one-and-a-half footer for par on the fourth, and I knew I was in trouble,” he said.

He made bogey again on five and nine, and, with just a single birdie on seven, his ship was clearly foundering.

“I knew I had to go deep on the back nine,” he said, and the wreck of his round that was staring him in the face had been averted with birdies on 11, 14 and 15. But, at 10-under, he was one off the clubhouse lead which had been set by McIntyre, and Van Tonder, Schietekat, Desvonde Botes, Bradford Vaughan and Jake Redman all had opportunities to get in front.

And then came the eagle.

For the second week in a row, McIntyre had to settle for second, but his final round was a thing of beauty as he strained every sinew to get daylight between him and his pursuers. He carded a superb seven-under-par 65, and might have been even better had he not dropped a shot on the par-three 11th.

Before then, however, he had a purple patch around the turn as he went eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie from the seventh to the 10th. But it was not to be - yet.

Also coming agonisingly close to maiden victories were Van Tonder and Schietekat.

Van Tonder had played four of the par-fives in six-under in the final round, but he managed just a par five on the 18th when he really needed eagle to break clear in front. And Schietekat made birdies on all the par-fives, but three bogeys on his card meant he will have to wait a bit longer to step into the winner’s circle.

For Blaauw, it was especially sweet.

“I’m just so chuffed,” he said. “I don’t know what else to say.”

Victory moved him to 40th on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit - but more importantly, it gave a promising career some momentum.

Scores (RSA unless specified):

204 - Jacques Blaauw 68 67 69

205 - PH McIntyre 69 71 65, Danie van Tonder 73 65 67, Neil Schietekat 67 69 69

206 - Desvonde Botes 73 66 67, Bradford Vaughan 72 67 67

207 - Jake Redman 65 75 67, Tyrone Mordt 69 69 69

208 - Ulrich van den Berg 73 68 67

209 - Bryce Easton 72 71 66, Justin Harding 72 67 70, Ruan de Smidt 69 69 71

210 - Merrick Bremner 72 69 69

211 - Vaughn Groenewald 70 71 70, James Kamte 72 68 71

212 - Michael Hollick 70 73 69, Ockie Strydom 72 70 70, Jean Hugo 72 69 71, Grant Veenstra 73 72 67, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 70 71 71, CJ du Plessis 69 71 72

213 - Derick Petersen 73 70 70, Andrew Curlewis 74 68 71, Allan Versfeld 72 70 71, Pieter Moolman 71 70 72, Mark Murless 71 68 74

214 - Jared Harvey 72 72 70, Attie Schwartzel 72 73 69, Peter Karmis 69 73 72, Alex Haindl 67 72 75

216 - Clifford Howes 69 74 73, Tyrone Ferreira 70 70 76

217 - Lindani Ndwandwe 72 71 74, Heinrich Bruiners 71 72 74, Divan van den Heever 73 72 72, Mark Williams 72 68 77

218 - Des Terblanche 74 70 74, Charl Coetzee 71 73 74, Divan Gerber 71 74 73, Morne Buys 72 73 73

219 - Anthony Michael 74 71 74, Nic Henning 70 75 74

220 - Bennie van der Merwe 72 71 77, Drikus Bruyns 72 70 78

221 - Gert Myburgh 71 73 77, Alan Michell 73 72 76

222 - Chris Swanepoel 75 69 78

Read more on:    knysna  |  golf

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