Sunshine Tour

CT Open title off to Tjaart's

2013-11-03 17:30
Tjaart van der Walt (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Tjaart van der Walt must have wondered if he would ever break through to the winner’s circle, but he put those doubts behind him with an emphatic six-stroke win on Sunday in the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open.

He carded a final-round one-under-par 71 for a 14-under-par total of 274 to beat Michael Hollick, who fired the round of the day with his four-under 68 to finish on 280, while Hennie Otto, the midway leader, battled to a four-over 76 to finish third.

When he came second on a major tour for the 13th time in his career – in St Omer in the Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open presented by Neuflize OBC – this victory must have seemed more elusive than ever.

“The feeling is quite out there! I’m at a loss for words,” he said.

“After so many seconds you start to wonder it’s going to come through.  It happened this week, so I’m over the moon.”

He had recorded an array of runner-up finishes across the globe, including five on the Sunshine Tour, three on the Nationwide Tour, one on the PGA Tour, two on the European Tour and one on the Asian Tour.

And when he made bogey on the first in the final round after his scintillating seven-under-par 65 in the third round, his heart must have sank.

But he kept his head together in impressive fashion while his playing partner Otto was battling to get anything going, and birdies on six and eight were eventually enough to pull him clear of any but the most outrageously spectacular finish.

He bogeyed 14 – the most difficult hole on the course throughout the tournament – but he hit back immediately with a birdie on 15 and then parred his way home.

“At the turn I knew I had a lead, but this back nine can get tricky with the wind,” he said. “I managed to pull off all of the shots I needed to. I persevered and stuck to what I know to work, and I pulled it off.”

Van der Walt has always been a cerebral golfer, turning to people close to him and to unlikely sources for support and assistance.

“I feel like now we are at a point where our network and sports structure is incredible,” he said. “Everyone is pulling for me, and how can you not succeed with that? You have to just keep going.

That’s what I felt like on the back nine.”

Hollick got the best finish of his fledgling professional career by making six one-putts in a row on the final six holes, and the final four of those brought birdies.

With Otto shipping water further back on the course – and making bogey on the 18th, that was enough to give him second on his own, topping his previous best Sunshine Tour performances of 2013 with a trio of fifth places.

His turn will come – if he listens to how a 39-year-old professional since 1996 does it: “You have to just back yourself and go for it. If you pack in and stop playing then you will never know. I am living proof that you should never, never give up,” said Van der Walt.

Scores (RSA unless specified):


274 -
Tjaart van der Walt 69 69 65 71

280 -
Michael Hollick 69 72 71 68

281 -
Hennie Otto 66 68 71 76

282 -
Jared Harvey 70 70 68 74

283 -
Trevor Fisher Jnr 71 71 71 70, Doug McGuigan 70 71 69 73

284 -
Anthony Michael 68 73 72 71, Alan Michell 72 73 68 71

285 -
Desvonde Botes 69 71 74 71, Charl Coetzee 71 71 71 72, Mark Murless 73 71 69 72, Andrew Curlewis 70 73 69 73

286 -
Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 73 70 74 69, Ruan de Smidt 77 68 70 71, Bradford Vaughan 70 71 73 72, Jbe' Kruger 69 72 73 72, Danie van Tonder 70 76 68 72, JJ Senekal 71 70 71 74, Justin Walters 69 73 70 74

287 -
Peter Wilson (ENG) 69 75 74 69, Shaun Smith 71 75 72 69, Matthew Carvell 73 73 70 71, Warren Abery 71 74 70 72, Wynand Dingle 70 72 71 74, Ulrich van den Berg 74 68 71 74, Jean Hugo 72 74 67 74, Allan Versfeld 70 70 71 76
288 - Martin du Toit 73 73 70 72, Titch Moore 73 70 68 77, Justin Harding 71 69 70 78

289 -
James Kingston 69 76 73 71, Johan du Buisson 71 73 72 73, Adrian Ford 71 73 71 74, Theunis Spangenberg 74 71 69 75, Gert Myburgh 78 68 66 77

290 -
Dean Burmester 72 73 77 68, Oliver Bekker 74 71 73 72, Ryan Tipping 71 73 73 73, Prinavin Nelson 72 72 72 74, Jake Roos 70 72 73 75, Steve Surry (ENG) 72 73 69 76, Alan McLean (SCO) 72 71 69 78

291 -
Alex Haindl 75 71 74 71, Neil Schietekat 71 74 74 72, Ross Wellington 71 70 77 73, Derick Petersen 72 71 75 73, Mark Williams 72 70 74 75, Peter Karmis 68 76 72 75, Omar Sandys 67 71 77 76, Heinrich Bruiners 72 69 74 76

292 -
Jacquin Hess 72 73 75 72, Drikus Bruyns 72 70 77 73, Shaun Norris 71 75 72 74

293 -
Wallie Coetsee 73 71 76 73, Tyrone Mordt 69 75 72 77

294 -
Kevin Stone 72 74 73 75, Lyle Rowe 69 75 74 76

295 -
Anton Haig 71 74 77 73, Pieter Moolman 73 73 73 76, Ryan Strauss 75 69 74 77, Johan de Beer 71 72 74 78

296 -
Keenan Davidse 72 74 76 74, Reggie Adams 69 75 75 77

297 -
Maritz Wessels 70 76 78 73, Erik van Rooyen 70 76 74 77, Drikus van der Walt 69 77 73 78

298 -
Desne van den Bergh 74 72 75 77

300 -
Makgetha Mazibuko 70 75 78 77, Keith Horne 70 75 72 83

301 -
Jeff Inglis (ENG) 70 75 79 77, Divan Gerber 71 72 76 82

303 -
Clifford Howes 69 75 79 80

305 -
Stuart Smith (BOT) 70 75 82 78

 

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  golf
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