Johannesburg – Ulrich van den Berg claimed his first victory in three years when he won the BMG Classic in the pouring rain at Glendower Golf Club on Sunday.
Van Den Berg closed with a 67 to win by five strokes on 15 under par. The weather-delayed second round had to be completed on Sunday morning, and when it was done Hennie Otto led the field on 11 under with Van Den Berg one stroke behind him.
But Van Den Berg took the lead amidst a crucial stretch of four birdies to the turn and Otto's double bogey on the par-four 10th. He made three birdies in four holes from the 13th, bogeyed 17 and then parred 18 for an emotional triumph.
“My last win was in 2010 and I need to thank my wife for standing by me when my form hasn't been that good. And I'll always dedicate my wins to my late father,” said Van Den Berg.
Otto and Titch Moore shared second place on 10 under par with respective final rounds of 73 and 70.
“Hennie is one of the hardest competitors we have on the Sunshine Tour. To beat him is a feather in my cap. He is one tough competitor. He's never done. I was ahead then he went ahead with an eagle. He never quits. I'm thrilled to have beaten a field like this and beaten him down the stretch,” said Van Den Berg.
But the Johannesburg professional also showed tremendous composure in the constant rain and when his five-foot putt for par on the fifth horseshoed out of the hole.
“I started well and then I had that putt that came right back at me on the fifth. That could've really wobbled me, but I took it in my stride,” he said, following it up with four birdies in succession.
Van Den Berg's win comes on a golf course that is very dear to him, and at the right time with the South African Open set to be played here in a month.
“I believe this is in the top three golf courses in South Africa. I love this course and we're all looking forward to what I think is going to be one of the best SA Opens we've had.” – Sapa