David Lipsky posing with his trophy after his win at Leopard Creek. Photo: @dunhilllinks via Twitter

MALELANE - American David Lipsky said it was his wedge play and short game that led to his two-stroke victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek on Sunday.

Not even a double-bogey five on the par-three 16th was enough to stop him from cruising home ahead of Scot David Drysdale, with Zander Lombard and Scott Jamieson sharing third a further shot back.

“My wedge play and my short game was really on this week. It’s definitely one of the strengths of my game, but this week, I definitely beat the odds!” he laughed. “I hit so many sand wedges to within 10 feet and that’s what got me the win.”

The win was his second on the European Tour after his first came in the Omega European Masters in Switzerland in 2014.

But he had a shaky moment on the homeward nine when Lombard turned on the afterburners in an attempt to catch him – and Lipsky looked for a brief moment as if he might falter.

Lombard had responded to consecutive bogeys on eight and nine with five threes in a row after the turn, including three birdies and a superb eagle on 13. 

And Lipsky hit his tee shot on 13 into the hazard on the left to leave local fans thinking the leader was feeling the pressure.

But he responded with a superb par-save.

Lipsky came down 18 with just a hint of a swagger. “I hit driver-nine-iron on 18, believe it or not,” he said of the par-five which has destroyed many a player’s hopes. 

“I smashed my drive. I’ve been hitting it pretty deep this whole week, making good contact. I caught it on the last and it made the hole a little easier for me, especially with what was on the line.”

To win again after four years was huge for Lipsky. “It’s indescribable,” he said. “Winning is what we all hope to do. That’s what we all practise for, it what we all put in the time for – blood sweat and tears to be here.

“This was a tough year for me. I haven’t played that well. I really struggled. I kept my card, but I struggled – I’m not going to lie. 

"To cap it off with a win at the end of the year is so special and I’m really looking forward to big things in 2019.” 

African News Agency (ANA)