Johannesburg – Neil Schietekat secured his maiden Sunshine Tour victory on Saturday when he won the Platinum Classic at Mooinooi Golf Club by three strokes.
Schietekat closed with a four-under-par 68 for a 15-under-par total of 201 to hold off Jaco Ahlers, whose three-under 69 saw him finish on 204.
James Kamte was third after a closing 70 put him on 205 for the tournament.
Schietekat credited his second-place finish at the Origins of Golf tournament at Simola in July as his inspiration for the win on Saturday.
“Not winning never really bothered me until I came second at the Origins of Golf tournament at Simola,” Schietekat said.
“I told myself I should have won that one, and I started to take steps to fix things.
“I’ve been working hard on the mental side of things, and that makes a big difference.”
An eagle early on in his opening nine holes propelled Schietekat clear of his pursuers, and birdies on seven, eight and nine gave him a comfortable cushion on a cold, blustery day.
The eagle came on the 404-metre par-four third which was enough to give him the confidence to play all the way home.
“It’s unbelievable and it hasn’t really hit me yet,” he said.
“I was getting tense, because I was hitting great shots, but not making any putts.
“Some of those putts were big swingers, moving two or three feet, because I was ending up on the wrong side of the holes.”
While he was not opening the gap between himself and his pursuers, no-one was able to claw back any of the five strokes he picked up in the opening nine.
“I was worried about the experienced guys ahead of me,” Schietekat said.
“By the time I reached 17 and 18, I was pretty sure I’d done enough.” – Sapa