Sunshine Tour

'Freshie’ doesn’t stop Bekker victory in Lusaka

2017-04-30 17:35
Oliver Bekker (Gallo Images)

Lusaka – He had a fresh air on the fourth, but Oliver Bekker kept plugging away on Sunday and a birdie on the 17th at Lusaka Golf Club sealed the deal for him in the Zambia Sugar Open.

He carded a one-under-par 72 at to come away with his fifth Sunshine Tour victory in six years, and he had to hold off a determined Jared Harvey, who came with a late run and finished in second place, two shots back on 17-under for the tournament.

Although Bekker finished on a total of 19-under-par for the tournament, he struggled on the final day, carding two bogeys and one double-bogey mixed with five birdies.

“I hit my ball behind a tree on the fourth,” said Bekker. “I tried to backhand it out, but I missed it completely. Luckily, I made birdies at the fifth and the sixth to pull things back.

“I never really got it going. I made a couple of good putts for birdie, and I had a fresh air, I had some snap hooks…a bit of everything today. The nerves were definitely there and I’m just happy I pulled it off,” he said after his round.

And when he got to his favourite stretch of the course – the 10th to the 14th – he managed just two birdies and a bogey, which was not a particularly favourable return considering he was 11-under-par through those holes on the first two days and three-under in the third round.

Harvey eagled the 10th and 13th holes to put pressure on Bekker, however, a birdie at the 17thsealed the deal for Bekker.

“I really felt I needed to do something,” said Bekker, “and I hit a great approach to three feet there. Jared hit it to seven feet, and luckily for me, he missed his putt and I made mine.

“He played great golf today. It was just that some of his putts didn’t go in, and they so easily could have. That’s the way the game goes.”

It was a good reward for Bekker who has been playing well lately. “I was thinking about giving up for a while last year, and then, out of nowhere, I had a win in Sun City,” he said. “Then I had some good finishes in the co-sanctioned events at the beginning of this year, and I was in contention in the Dimension Data.”

He started the 2017-18 Sunshine Tour season with an impressive third place behind winner JC Ritchie, and then came the Lusaka win.

Behind Van Tonder, Danie van Tonder showed he is approaching his best again in third, three shots behind Bekker, while 2013 champion Adilson Da Silva finished fourth a further shot back. Christiaan Basson and Keenan Davidse shared fifth.

Scores:

273 - Oliver Bekker 68 66 67 72

275 - Jared Harvey 67 66 72 70

276 - Danie van Tonder 69 70 69 68

277 - Adilson Da Silva 69 69 69 70

278 - Christiaan Basson 70 70 69 69, Keenan Davidse 65 75 67 71

279 - Andre de Decker 72 69 69 69, JJ Senekal 70 71 69 69, Jaco Mouton 66 71 71 71, Alex Haindl 71 70 66 72

280 - Scott Campbell 73 68 73 66, Jack Harrison 71 70 71 68

281 - Jean Hugo 69 70 74 68, Rhys West 66 69 74 72

282 - Desne Van Den Bergh 75 69 71 67, Chris Swanepoel 69 70 68 75

283 - Toby Tree 69 69 72 73

284 - Zack Byrd 72 71 74 67, Merrick Bremner 75 69 71 69, Steve Surry 73 68 72 71, Sean Bradley 73 72 68 71, Luke Jerling 70 68 74 72, Jaco Ahlers 68 72 72 72, Combrinck Smit 71 73 68 72, Ulrich van den Berg 66 76 68 74

285 - Michael Palmer 73 68 73 71, Hennie du Plessis 66 73 74 72, JC Ritchie 67 72 74 72, Doug McGuigan 70 71 72 72, Madalitso Muthiya 73 68 72 72, Coert Groenewald 68 70 73 74, Stephen Ferreira 62 71 74 78, Thriston Lawrence 66 72 69 78

286 - Riekus Nortje 70 70 75 71, Altaaf Bux 73 68 70 75

287 - Matthew Carvell 69 73 75 70, Neil Schietekat 72 70 75 70, Titch Moore 70 68 78 71, Allan Versfeld 72 70 74 71, Jake Redman 70 73 72 72, Rourke van der Spuy 72 71 72 72, Breyten Meyer 70 71 73 73, Jason Froneman 72 72 69 74, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 69 73 70 75, Vaughn Groenewald 73 69 70 75, Anthony Michael 69 74 69 75

289 - Jonathan Agren 73 70 74 72, Danie Van Niekerk 72 69 74 74, Makhetha Mazibuko 73 72 70 74

290 - Matias Calderon 72 70 75 73, Cody Martin 73 70 73 74, Ruan de Smidt 71 68 76 75, Ruan Huysamen 71 68 75 76

291 - Richie O'Donovan 75 70 73 73, Justin Harding 67 76 73 75, Jaco Prinsloo 70 75 70 76, Francois Coetzee 70 68 75 78, Peter Karmis 70 72 71 78, Tyrone Ryan 69 74 68 80

293 - Andrew Curlewis 75 70 77 71, Lindani Ndwandwe 73 69 77 74, Colin Nel 69 76 74 74, Dongkwan Kim 73 72 74 74

294 - Antonio Costa 71 71 77 75, Wynand Dingle 73 68 71 82

295 - Ryan Cairns 71 73 71 80

296 - Steven Ferreira 70 75 73 78

297 - Wallie Coetsee 70 75 77 75

299 - Jacquin Hess 73 72 79 75

302 - Ryan Tipping 75 70 80 77

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  zambia open  |  oliver bekker  |  golf
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