Stellenbosch – Allan Versfeld went from a three-shot deficit to a three-shot victory as he claimed the Vodacom Origins of Golf at De Zalze Golf Club on Friday.
Versfeld closed with a 67 to win on 18-under-par 198 and claim his maiden title on the Sunshine Tour, denying Ockie Strydom a victory in this event.
Strydom led for the first two days with his rounds of 64, but faltered on the final day with a 73.
“It's awesome. I'm so happy to get the first win out of the way,” said Versfeld, who put his experience of playing in Europe recently to good use on Friday.
Strydom was three clear of the field teeing off, and birdied the first. But Versfeld kept himself in contention with back-to-back birdies on holes four and five, while Strydom double-bogeyed the fifth to see them tied for the lead.
His bogey on the sixth and Strydom's birdie opened up a two-shot gap between the two. But Versfeld drew level again with his eagle on the eighth, and then birdied the ninth to take the lead as Strydom bogeyed the hole.
“I went from two behind to two in front, and I just tried to build on that,” he said.
Strydom's challenge ended when he double-bogeyed the 11th, and Versfeld arrived at the 18th with a four-shot cushion that allowed him the luxury of a bogey on the last.
“Even if you play well or badly in Europe, you learn from it. I just tried to stay calm today and hit greens, and the putts ended up going my way.”
It wasn't Versfeld's lowest round of the tournament, but it was by far his most impressive.
“I think it was my best round under the pressure. I played well the previous two days, but it all came together on the final day.”
Strydom took second place on 15 under, and tried to see the positives in his defeat.
“I didn't play well, but you win some and you lose some. But congratulations to Allan. He played really well. I played well all week and proved to myself I can win, and now I've just got to work on the final touch-up.”
Keith Horne birdied the last for a 68 and third place on 11 under par. – Sapa