South Africa’s Venter wins three-way Zim Open play-off

23 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
South Africa’s Venter wins three-way Zim Open play-off Albert Venter

The Chronicle

Simba Jemwa in Harare
IT took three men and two play-off rounds to decide the FBC Zimbabwe Golf Open title at Royal Harare Golf Club yesterday.

South African Albert Venter outlasted his two compatriots Louis Albertse and Stefan Wears-Taylor to win the title with a long birdie in the second play-off round.

Venter took home R317 000, while Wears-Taylor and Albertse each walked away with R180 400 in prize money.

An eagle in the final play-off round exemplified Venter’s 18-hole fourth round in which he carded six-under 66 to finish the tournament 10-under as did Albertse and Wears-Taylor in their final rounds.

Louis Albertse

Venter had a fourth round of five birdies, three eagles, three bogeys and one double bogey as he and seven other pros, American, Dan Erickson, South Africans Jaco Ahlers, Lousi de Jager, Luis Fillipo, Wears-Taylor, Albertse and Zambian Muthiya Madalitso battled it out towards the final green.

On the front nine, Venter, who fought back from five strokes behind overnight leader Fillipo, birdied the first, second, fifth and eighth holes in addition to an eagle on the nineth, as he fought to recover the two shots he dropped on the third.

He continued his fine run in the back nine where he had two eagles on the 11th and 14th holes and a birdie on the 18th to finish 10-under after four rounds.

Wears scored a final round six-under 66 to go with his first three rounds of 74, 68 and 70. Two eagles and five birdies turned Wears-Taylor into a championship contender, but he was undone by a second shot from the fairway that flew over the green leaving him with an impossible shot uphill to the pin.

Albertse fought the good battle scoring five-under 67 in the final round. The round came alive after a double eagle on the par 5 second hole in addition to four birdies and two eagles.

Zambian Muthiya Madalitso

This was enough to survive bogeys on the third, sixth, seventh, 13th and 17th holes.

In the first play-off round, Venter, Albertse and Wears-Taylor all carded birdies forcing a second play-off round.

The biggest disappointment in the final round was American Erickson, who surrendered a one stroke lead at the 16th hole, which he bogeyed, the 17th, which he double bogeyed before he went for par on the 18th. Until the last three holes, Erickson was the favourite to go all the way.

On the par 4 15th hole, Erickson had putted for an eagle from about three metres.

At this point, Venter was holding a one stroke lead, but dropped a shot to surrender the lead to his playing partner in the round, Erickson.

However, the lead changed hands at every hole in this round.

Erickson hit the rough in the 16th hole, but chose not to drop a shot and instead punched back on to the fairway before driving to the green. He took his time with the next shot, consulted his score card before deciding to go for the pin which was calculated play against this hole. He finished par for this hole.

He dropped a shot on the 17th hole when he missed a shot putt to surrender the lead to Venter. This was the first time he dropped a shot in the round and the first time he missed a putt.

Speaking to the media after the prize giving ceremony, Venter said he failed to qualify for the main draw of the Zimbabwe Open in 2017.

“This is not the first time I have been here for the Zimbabwe Open. The first time was 2017, but I failed to qualify, which makes this victory even sweeter,” Venter said. – @RealSimbaJemwa

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