Sunshine Tour

Van Zyl triumphs after playoff

2013-03-24 18:47
Jaco van Zyl (AFP)
Sun City - He was nearly knocked from his pedestal on Sunday, but in the end even a brilliant 62 by one of his chasers was not enough to stop Jaco van Zyl from taking a playoff victory in the inaugural Investec Cup.

Hennie Otto played a characteristically brilliant round on the Lost City Golf Course with 10 birdies to reel in the high-flying Van Zyl and force a play-off after 72 holes spread over four days on the Millvale Private Retreat course, Rustenburg Golf Club and concluding with 36 holes at the Lost City.

“I watched the leader board all day,” said Van Zyl, “and I saw Hennie was 16-under through nine. And the next time I got a glimpse was on the 15th, and I saw he was 19-under at that point.

VIDEO: Investec Cup, Day 4 highlights

“After that, the next time you see anything is when you walk onto 18 green, and I’d been thinking he had finished on 20-under. I was 20-under playing the last, and I thought I needed four to win, and now I knew I had to work really hard.”

He’d put his approach shot on the left side of the green on 18 in regulation, and had a teasing chip towards the pin which was placed tight back right. He rolled that three feet past and had a knee-trembler for the birdie which secured him a place in the play-off against Otto who had played with such flair all day.

But that flair deserted Otto when he had his knee on his opponent’s throat in the play-off: Van Zyl had dumped his approach to the 18th in the water, and all Otto had to do was find the heart of the green on the 485m par-five closing hole.

Instead, he tugged it left and long, leaving himself a ‘Hail Mary’ pitch and putt to get up and down for birdie. His chip was inches short of being good, but left him stuck in thick grass on the fringe of the green.

There was still a chance for victory for Otto: Van Zyl put his fourth shot two feet from the pin, and tapped in for par. Otto had two-and-half feet to match that par and take play down the 18th once again - and it lipped out.

Dejected, he strode from the green, and left Van Zyl sympathetic to the plight of a man he likes and respects. “It’s not good to win like that,” he muttered as he strode to the presentation ceremony.

But win he did: Not only did he take his third title of the Sunshine Tour summer, but he cruised to the winning share of the Chase to the Investec Cup Bonus Pool, adding R2m to his already substantial winnings for the year.

“I was always told if I play good golf, the money will take care of itself,” he said. “I’ve got a wife and two boys who will take care of the money - I’ve got a career to worry about.”


267 - Jaco van Zyl 66 64 69 68
267 - Hennie Otto 69 67 69 62
269 - Justin Walters 64 70 68 67
272 - Trevor Fisher Jnr 74 66 66 66
274 - Jean Hugo 65 70 69 70, Garth Mulroy 66 69 67 72
275 - Keith Horne 69 71 68 67
278 - Richard Sterne 72 70 68 68, Ulrich van den Berg 70 70 67 71, Jake Roos 68 72 67 71
279 - Vaughn Groenewald 70 70 70 69, Chris Swanepoel 72 69 69 69, Colin Nel 71 65 71 72
280 - Dean Burmester 72 69 70 69
281 - Doug McGuigan 71 70 71 69, Desvonde Botes 73 71 68 69, Merrick Bremner 72 68 70 71
283 - Oliver Bekker 76 72 71 64, PH McIntyre 72 71 73 67, Ruan de Smidt 75 67 73 68, Danie van Tonder 73 71 66 73
284 - Jaco Ahlers 77 72 64 71
285 - Louis de Jager 71 72 70 72
286 - Matthew Carvell 75 73 71 67, Tyrone Ferreira 74 68 74 70, James Kingston 71 69 69 77
288 - Wallie Coetsee 75 70 72 71
289 - Allan Versfeld 77 70 75 67, Christiaan Basson 71 70 72 76
290 - Darren Fichardt 75 69 68 78

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  jaco van zyl  |  hennie otto  |  golf

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