Johannesburg – JJ Senekal became the third maiden winner on this year's Origins of Golf Tour when he won the final tournament at St Francis Links on Friday.
Senekal beat Titch Moore on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff and following an incredible finish to his round.
The young golfer birdied his final two holes for a 72, including a 25-foot putt for his birdie on the last. Moore bogeyed the final hole, also for a 72, to see them both tied on four under.
Both golfers birdied the tough par-four 18th as the first playoff hole.
Playing it again, Moore hit his approach into the left greenside bunker and was faced with an incredibly difficult lie right up against the lip. It took him three shots to get out. Senekal found the green with his approach and two-putted for par and the victory.
“I've been dreaming about winning on Tour and now I've done it,” said Senekal.
He was surrounded by some of the most experienced professionals on the Sunshine Tour as he went into the final round one stroke off the lead, with Moore, Jean Hugo and Jake Roos all challenging for the title.
And it took a phone call from his father for Senekal to start believing in himself.
“The night before the final round my dad phoned me and said, 'you're up there for a reason. Don't stand back for anyone. You've got the game. You've got everything. Just go for it'.”
Senekal had also taken inspiration from his fellow professionals.
“I've been inspired by a lot of the guys. I caddied for Justin Harding at the Open Championship this year and that really motivated me a lot.
“I look up to Justin because he's quite successful and it's where I want to be.”
Senekal's victory came with the major summer portion of the Sunshine Tour only a few weeks away.
“This win means everything to me. It gives me confidence going into the summer, knowing that I can win and win well.” – Sapa