Kathu – Hennie du Plessis, on his 21st birthday, clinched his maiden Sunshine Tour title in dramatic fashion at Sishen
Golf Club when he defeated Ockie Strydom on the fourth play-off hole of the
Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament on Saturday.
“This is awesome,” said Du Plessis.
“I couldn’t ask for a
better way of doing it than a play-off. I mean, it really shows how much you
have worked. You could see my expression on the last hole, how much it means to
me. It’s a good birthday present to win a tournament.”
In a dramatic turn of events, Du Plessis, who won the 2015
Sunshine Tour Qualifying School, had to work hard for his maiden title as
Strydom forced the play-off to a fourth extra hole before Du Plessis holed a
50-footer for birdie to claim victory.
“The first time, I think, was a little bit worse than the
other times,” Du Plessis said of those play-off holes.
“I mean, I knew exactly
what to hit every time so it was sort of repeating whatever you’re doing. But
yeah, the first one was very nerve-wracking because you make a mistake, you’re
losing the tournament.”
The nerves were warranted because Strydom was playing solid
golf and that was evident as he signed for five-under-67 in regulation, and in
some windy conditions at Sishen. “Ockie played very well,” said du Plessis. “I
mean, five-under in these conditions is absolutely brilliant golf. It was very
gusty. You could see that some of the shots would go an extra five meters or 10
meters longer. Especially in the play-off.”
It was an unbelievable spectacle of golf as the pair
produced some of the best golf shots this season, with Strydom pulling off a
magnificent par save on the third play-off hole before the eventual winner sunk
that 50-foot putt for birdie.
“It was awesome. It was actually a relief that it went in,”
he said of the monster putt. “I thought I’d hit it too hard or something. I
knew exactly the line from the previous play-off holes, so I knew I just had to
get it to the hole.
“It was overall a great week. I played some of the best golf
this week – in the first two rounds and even in the pro-am. It’s been awesome.
I knew something good was going to happen,” said a happy Du Plessis.
With that win, he is looking forward to more success and
taking part in the bigger summer events to come on the Sunshine Tour 2017-18
204 - Hennie
du Plessis 66 66 72
204 - Ockie Strydom 70 67 67
210 - Callum Mowat 74 69 67, Ruan de Smidt 67
211 - MJ Viljoen 70 71 70, Doug McGuigan 70 70
212 - Justin Harding 70 70 72