Swanepoel wins Zimbabwe Open

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Johannesburg - Chris Swanepoel beat Trevor Fisher Junior in a playoff to win the Zimbabwe Open at the Royal Harare Golf Course in Harare on Sunday.

Swanepoel, starting five shots off the lead in the final round, rallied to shoot an eight-under-par 64 for a 15-under-par 273 total to tie Trevor Fisher Junior.

Swanepoel beat Fisher on the second playoff hole playing the par four 18th, after the pair were still tied after the first playoff hole.

“It's a fantastic feeling,” said Swanepoel after winning the tournament. “I love playing out here on this fantastic course - it has a lovely layout. It's my first playoff win in three tries, and it's an incredible feeling,” he said.

The 27-year-old fired on all cylinders on his way to the playoff, pencilling in 10 birdies to reach 15-under-par and catch a faltering Fisher and then outdo him in a playoff.

“This is a nice win.”

“Against Fisher - he's a really good player and a good guy. I feel sorry for him, but unfortunately there can only be one winner, we can't split it.”

The Pretoria resident's round carried only four pars, and was a real spectacle. He opened with four straight birdies and added another two before the turn. A double-bogey at the ninth set him back to six-under through the turn.

On the back nine, he continued to dominate the Royal Harare course, making birdies on either side of an eagle at the 12th. But then another double-drop at the par-three 15th seemed to spell heartbreak.

Swanepoel recovered with birdies at the 16th and 18th.

While he waited in the clubhouse, Fisher was struggling to finish things, and a missed four-footer for par at the 18th left him tied with Swanepoel.

Rookie Ruan de Smidt finished alone in third place at on 13-under-par, while Colin Nel took fourth at nine-under.

Jean Hugo, Titch Moore and Justin Walters all came in at eight-under, finishing in a three-way tie for fifth. - Sapa


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