Sunshine Tour

De Jager wins Eye of Africa title in playoff

2019-02-03 19:09
Louis de Jager (Gallo Images)

Eikenhof - Louis de Jager won his fifth Sunshine Tour title on Sunday when he took the Eye of Africa PGA Championship on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to take his career playoff record to three out of three.

After finishing regulation play in a share of the lead on 12-under-par with Trevor Fisher jnr, the pair had to wait out a storm for nearly two hours before they could play their second shots on the playoff hole. In the end, De Jager was able to win with a simple par on the par-four 18th, while Fisher made a bogey.

“I’m glad to keep my playoff record up, and I’m proud of that,” said De Jager.

“During the delay, I knew what I had to do, so even though there was a lot of pressure, I was able to hit it really close to the hole and I could just tap it in.”

The victory is easily the biggest in his career, coming as it did in the 96-year-old championship which has had some of the greatest names in South African golf win it.

“It’s a big trophy to have your name on. I’m really honoured. It’s been one of my goals and it feels great to have achieved it,” he said.

The final round proved to be a difficult one for all the main protagonists, and Daniel Greene, who at one stage at the 13th held a three-stroke lead, fell out of contention with three bogeys in the final four holes to finish third.

Fisher bogeyed the par-three 16th, but pulled back that shot with a birdie on the par-five 17th before making par on 18 and losing out in the playoff.

In response, De Jager had dragged himself into contention with successive birdies on 13 and 14, but bogeyed the 17th before forcing the playoff.

“I was watching the leaderboard throughout the round,” he said.

“At one stage I was three behind. I thought I was two behind Daniel, and I made two birdies so I thought I was tied, but I was still one behind. That helped me keep my focus and concentrate on the final few holes.

“Today was a tricky day. Final days are always a bit tricky mentally. But I stayed steady and stuck to my processes, and even on the 17th hole where I made two bad swings and it nearly cost me, but I stayed patient and at the end of the day it was just enough.

“I had a good chance with the putt on the final hole in regulation to win. I wasn’t going to leave it short, but I hit it probably a foot too hard and it just didn’t take the break.”

It was the second victory of the 2018/19 Sunshine Tour season for De Jager, and with five other top-10s to his credit, he’s clearly the form man as the season draws to close.

Scores:

276 - Louis de Jager 68 70 67 71 (won on first extra hole)

276 - Trevor Fisher Jnr 66 68 73 69

277 - Daniel Greene 67 69 70 71

278 - Thriston Lawrence 69 68 70 71

279 - Bennie van der Merwe 68 69 72 70

280 - Steve Surry 67 71 72 70, Hennie du Plessis 71 68 71 70

281 - Keenan Davidse 68 72 70 71, Jaco Ahlers 70 69 68 74

282 - Jacques Blaauw 68 67 71 76

283 - Neil Schietekat 69 72 72 70, Clinton Grobler 70 72 70 71, Matias Calderon 69 69 73 72, Michael Palmer 72 67 70 74, Teaghan Gauche 71 66 71 75, Victor Lange 65 73 68 77

284 - Anthony Michael 69 72 74 69, Ruan Conradie 74 68 73 69, Benjamin Follett-Smith 73 70 71 70, Jean-Paul Strydom 71 73 69 71, JC Ritchie 65 75 71 73

285 - Kyle Pilgrim 69 73 71 72, MJ Viljoen 72 69 76 68, Andre Nel 68 72 72 73, Neil O'Briain 72 72 73 68

286 - Daniel van Tonder 75 69 71 71, Estiaan Conradie 67 74 73 72, Bryce Easton 71 70 75 70, Vaughn Groenewald 71 71 71 73

287 - Erhard Lambrechts 73 70 72 72, Jean Hugo 73 70 72 72, Jake Roos 69 71 73 74, Fredrik From 68 73 72 74

288 - Gideon van der Vyver 70 73 72 73, Jack Harrison 72 71 74 71, Mitch Waite 73 71 75 69, Hennie Otto 72 71 77 68

289 - Coert Groenewald 73 70 71 75, Madalitso Muthiya 72 71 73 73

290 - Ulrich van den Berg 72 70 74 74, Tyrone Ryan 74 68 74 74, Merrick Bremner 72 71 74 73

291 - Jared Harvey 71 66 79 75, Philip Eriksson 72 72 74 73

292 - Peter Karmis 70 73 74 75, Jacques P de Villiers 71 73 73 75, Duane Keun 69 75 74 74, Toto Thimba 73 69 79 71

293 - Damon Stephenson 68 76 73 76

294 - Allan Versfeld 71 70 74 79, Wynand Dingle 71 73 76 74, Ockie Strydom 71 73 76 74

295 - Kyle McClatchie 72 71 75 77, Andrew Curlewis 75 69 74 77, Franklin Manchest 77 67 77 74, Rhys Enoch 72 72 83 68

296 - Theunis Bezuidenhout 71 72 74 79

298 - Mark Williams 73 71 79 75

302 - Fezekile Kana 69 73 78 82

303 - Riekus Nortje 68 74 81 80

Read more on:    sunshine tour  |  louis de jager  |  golf

 

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