Sunshine Tour

McGuigan triumphs at St Francis

2017-09-23 15:12
Doug McGuigan (Gallo Images)

St Francis Bay - Doug McGuigan may have to rethink the order he placed for a new putter after he fired a final round six-under-par 66 on Saturday to win the Origins of Golf event at St Francis Links.

Even with a bogey and a double-bogey on his card, his 13-under-par total for the 54-hole event was enough to give him a two-stroke edge over Hennie du Plessis, with England’s Scott Campbell and Steve Surry sharing third with Neil Schietekat who finished at nine-under-par.

“I ordered a new putter this week and I never used it,” said McGuigan. “I used my old putter, an old Odyssey I’ve had for about 15 years. It just seemed to line up nicely and I was stroking the ball beautifully.”

In fact, two eagles, rather than putts, were the shots that catapulted him to the win, his second in the season after he won the Vodacom Origins of Golf opener at Highland Gate at the end of July.

He made the first from the fairway on the first hole, and then, after he had dropped three shots on the seventh and eighth, he made his second on the 13th after two birdies on succession on the preceding two holes.

“It started off very nicely for me when I eagled the first, and made two birdies in a row after that,” he said. “I gave it all back on seven and eight, and then on the next 10 holes, I played unbelievable golf. I was very fortunate.

“After those drops, I thought back to the seven I made in the final round at Highland Gate. I thought that I’d got it back from there, and I could try and do the same thing here.”

Although the weather started off in the final round with some drizzle, heavy rain held off, and the wind which makes St Francis Links such a good test began to come up. And after his eagle on 13, he needed to consolidate the lead he had grasped.

The opportunity came on the par-five 16th. “That was one of the hardest par-fives I’ve ever played,” said McGuigan. “Today, I hit driver, four-wood and three-iron and made birdie, which wasn’t on the cards off the tee. It was one of the best three-irons I’ve ever hit.”

He had the luxury of playing his approach to the 18th green conservatively and using a putter from well off the green to advance the ball to within eight feet, knowing he could still drop a shot and win. “That final putt didn’t feel great, despite the fact that I know I had two putts for the win,” he said. “But the first putt went in and that’s good.”

It was his eighth Sunshine Tour title in a career that has spanned nearly 25 years, but it was the first time he has won two titles in a single season.
“That it was my second win of the season was very unexpected,” said McGuigan. “It’s a big confidence boost ahead of the summer season, but now it’s back to the practice range next week and get working again.”


203 - Doug McGuigan 69 68 66

205 - Hennie du Plessis 65 72 68

207 - Scott Campbell 68 70 69, Neil Schietekat 68 69 70, Steve Surry 64 73 70

208 - Colin Nel 67 74 67, N.J. Arnoldi 69 69 70

211 - Merrick Bremner 71 75 65, Steven Ferreira 71 75 65, Alex Haindl 66 73 72, Peter Karmis 68 71 72

212 - Madalitso Muthiya 68 74 70, Oliver Bekker 70 71 71

213 - Jonathan Agren 70 73 70, Breyten Meyer 67 74 72

214 - JJ Senekal 69 77 68, Jaco Prinsloo 71 74 69, Allan Versfeld 68 75 71, Vaughn Groenewald 71 68 75, Makhetha Mazibuko 69 70 75

215 - Titch Moore 70 73 72, Wallie Coetsee 68 67 80

216 - Cody Martin 73 73 70, Sean Bradley 69 71 76, Michael Hollick 70 69 77

217 - Ryan Tipping 72 74 71, Andrew van der Knaap 74 72 71

218 - Damon Stephenson 69 76 73

219 - Stefan Engell Andersen 73 73 73, Matias Calderon 74 70 75, Callum Mowat 70 72 77

220 - Tyrone Ferreira 72 74 74, Andrew Curlewis 72 73 75, JC Ritchie 66 74 80

221 - Louis de Jager 69 76 76

222 - Mark Murless 70 75 77

223 - Ockie Strydom 71 75 77, Justin Harding 69 76 78, Thanda Mavundla 74 71 78

224 - Chris Swanepoel 69 76 79, Desne Van Den Bergh 73 71 80

225 - Jean Hugo 73 71 81

WD - Anthony Michael 69 76 WD


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