Sunshine Tour

Bekker perseveres for Sun City win

2016-08-06 17:45
Oliver Bekker (Gallo Images)

Sun City - It took him over three years to get his fourth victory on the Sunshine Tour, and Oliver Bekker got it done on Saturday with a one-stroke victory over Shaun Norris in the Sun City Challenge played at the Gary Player Country Club.

Bekker carded a final-round of three-under-par 69 to pull clear of Norris with whom he shared the 36-hole lead. He finished on six-under-par 210, and Ockie Strydom was third behind Norris on four-under-par for the tournament, with Danie van Tonder, who closed with a 67, the best round of the day, in fourth a further three strokes back.

“The win is a big surprise, to be honest,” said Bekker. “I haven’t been playing the best golf, but I found a little something and I was trying to rely on that. I was trying to remember all the good rounds and good shots that I played before, because there’s a lot of pressure out there.”

It’s been a tough first half of the year for Bekker, who has twice finished inside the top 10 on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit. He has missed five cuts, including in last week’s tournament on the Wild Coast, and has finished inside the top 20 just once in the seven tournaments in which he has made the cut.

In addition, he has not been able to make any headway in his attempt at carving out a niche for himself on the European Challenge Tour, missing three cuts in four tournaments. So this win means a lot to him. “I’m very happy and very proud of how I handled myself,” he said.

He must have thought all the work he did in the second round when he joined the lead with his five-under 67 was going to be undone when he bogeyed the second hole in the final round. But he followed that with five birdies in six holes from the fifth to the 10th, and that edged him in front.

Norris played well too, and when he birdied the 11th, he drew level with Bekker at seven-under. Both players dropped at the par-three 12th, but it was a double-bogey for Norris who then bogeyed 13 too. He made a birdie on 14, but he was unable to get back on even terms with Bekker down the stretch.

“Shaun and I are good mates,” said Bekker, “so it’s tough – you root for each other, but at the back of your mind is always the thought that you have to make whatever he makes. But it was good to play with someone who was also playing nicely and we were feeding off each other.”

In the end, Bekker was able to hold on, and, even so, he’s not entirely sure that he is back at the top of his game. “I’m going to play the next couple of Sunshine Tour events and see how it goes,” he said.

 

Scores:

210 - Oliver Bekker 74 67 69

211 - Shaun Norris 67 74 70

212 - Ockie Strydom 74 68 70

215 - Danie van Tonder 74 74 67

216 - Louis de Jager 71 76 69, Jbe’ Kruger 68 75 73

217 - JC Ritchie 72 71 74, Werner van Niekerk 71 72 74

218 - Le Roux Ferreira 75 73 70, Jacques Kruyswijk 76 72 70, Doug McGuigan 71 76 71, Erik van Rooyen 71 74 73

219 - Bryce Easton 76 74 69, Jake Roos 74 76 69, Stuart Smith 75 73 71, Madalitso Muthiya 74 74 71, Russel Franz 74 73 72, Christiaan Basson 73 73 73, Theunis Spangenberg 69 73 77

221 - Titch Moore 74 73 74, Vaughn Groenewald 69 76 76, Antonio Rosado 76 69 76

222 - Ruan de Smidt 74 75 73, Breyten Meyer 73 74 75, JJ Senekal 72 75 75

223 - Andrew Curlewis 75 75 73, Rourke van der Spuy 77 73 73, Jared Harvey 75 74 74, Dwayne Basson 72 77 74, Justin Harding 73 76 74

224 - Stephen Ferreira 75 75 74, Merrick Bremner 75 75 74, Tyrone Ferreira 76 72 76, Jean Hugo 74 74 76, Omar Sandys 75 71 78

226 - Jason Diab 78 72 76, Lyle Rowe 75 75 76, Keith Horne 71 76 79

227 - James Kamte 73 77 77, Jean-Paul Strydom 77 73 77

228 - Mark Murless 74 76 78

229 - Callie Swart 76 72 81

230 - Jaco Ahlers 73 77 80, Grant Veenstra 72 76 82

231 - Roux Jeffery 79 71 81, Drikus Bruyns 76 74 81

233 - Callum Mowat 74 75 84

WDN - Matthew Carvell 74 74 WDN

RTD - Wallie Coetsee 73 76 RTD

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  golf
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