Golf

Van Zyl strolls to victory

2011-09-09 15:00
Jaco van Zyl (Gallo)
Centurion - He made it clear that winning is no walk in the park, but it certainly looked that way on Friday as Jaco van Zyl won the R500 000 Telkom PGA Pro-Am by six strokes from Jean Hugo.

He twice made four birdies in a row – from the seventh to the 10th and again from the 14th to the 17th – as he waltzed away from the field to win the title for the third consecutive year and take his 10th Sunshine Tour title and his eighth since February, 2009.

He became the first player since Bradford Vaughan to win a hat-trick of titles - Vaughan won the Limpopo Classic from 2004-2006.

“Winning the title three times in a row is way beyond my expectations,” he said. “Winning any event takes a lot of hard work and a lot of effort, so to do it three years in a row is a huge privilege.

“The last three years have really been good to me. Every year you look back and you think it was a great year, and fortunately for me, every year has got a little better.
“So here I am in the middle of September and I can look ahead at next year already, at what the goals and plans are going to be,” he added.

He carded a superlative eight-under-par 64 to close, after opening with a 67 and following that up with a 66.

He started the tournament wearied by travel on his return from a third place in the Omega European Masters in Switzerland, had to spend time in hospital to help his family deal with some minor health issues, but still managed to look as if he would be the man to beat throughout the tournament.

But he recovered in emphatic fashion: “Every day I was out here, I was feeling a little bit better,” he said. “The timing got better, the rhythm got better, and I’ve always felt comfortable around these greens, so it was a win-win situation.”

He went into the final round level with Justin Walters at 11-under-par. Van Zyl laid down an early marker with a birdie on the opening hole, but he surrendered that advantage with a bogey on the fourth.

However, Walters couldn’t come to terms with his game in the heat of the closing 18 holes and he made consecutive bogeys on five and six, which set him back. In the end, his one-under-par was never going to be enough to keep Van Zyl at bay.

Not even a real run by Hugo, who has won twice on this year’s Sunshine Tour already, was going to be enough, and his five-under-par 67 fell well short.

Behind Walters, who finished alone in third, Alex Haindl - who fired a fine seven-under-par 67 of his own to close - and Jake Roos shared fourth on 11-under-par, a distant eight strokes behind Van Zyl.

First round leader Darren Fichardt closed with a 68 for sole possession of sixth.

For Van Zyl, spending two more weeks in South Africa before resuming his European campaign in Scotland, Portugal and Spain is a tantalising prospect. “Feet up, watch the World Cup and have a few beers,” he said.

Scores (RSA unless specified):
197 - Jaco van Zyl 67 66 64
203 - Jean Hugo 69 67 67
204 - Justin Walters 68 65 71
205 - Alex Haindl 68 72 65, Jake Roos 70 66 69
206 - Darren Fichardt 65 73 68
207 - Bradford Vaughan 72 70 65, Albert Pistorius 71 67 69, Charl Coetzee 70 66 71
208 - Vaughn Groenewald 72 69 67, Trevor Fisher Jnr 72 68 68
209 - Louis Moolman 71 69 69, Merrick Bremner 71 68 70, Doug McGuigan 69 68 72
210 - Christiaan Basson 72 70 68, Brandon Pieters 70 71 69
211 - David Hewan 71 71 69, Steven Ferreira 71 70 70, George Coetzee 71 70 70
212 - Jake Redman 72 72 68, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 71 73 68, Warren Abery 69 74 69, Neil Schietekat 69 71 72, Mark Murless 69 70 73
213 - Reggie Adams 71 73 69, Clinton Whitelaw 70 69 74, Dean O'Riley 70 67 76
214 - Tyrone Mordt 72 72 70, Louis Calitz 69 74 71, Ulrich van den Berg 71 72 71
215 - Andre Cruse 71 72 72, PH McIntyre 73 69 73, Chris Swanepoel 72 69 74, Lourens Kleynhans 69 72 74
216 - Justin Harding 70 74 72, Theunis Spangenberg 69 74 73, Oliver Bekker 72 71 73, Thabang Simon 71 71 74
217 - Colin Nel 70 73 74
219 - Andrew Curlewis 73 71 75, Des Terblanche 71 73 75, Daniel Greene 71 71 77
220 - Alan Michell 74 70 76
 

Read more on:    telkom pga pro-am  |  jaco van zyl
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