Interesting to see Saskatchewan’s Graham DeLaet return to South Africa — where he played very well last year — and win the first tournament he entered.
Yes, the tournament was only three rounds, but a win is a win. He’s now 8th on the Sunshine Tour’s order of merit, though he’s only played a handful of events.
Here’s a report from Golf365:
Canadian Graham DeLaet let some extra sunshine in on his career on Sunday when he won for the first time in Africa at the BMG Classic at Johannesburg’s Glendower Golf Club.
DeLaet fired a third-round 69 to finish with an 11-under-par 205 that was one shot too good for England’s Jeff Inglis.
In his fifth Sunshine Tour tournament in South Africa, he capped a magical run of results: He came 12th in the Joburg Open, 12th in the Africa Open, second in the Vodacom Championship, second in the Telkom PGA Championship and finally got a first win under his belt here at Glendower..
“I’ve loved each one of the five weeks I have spent playing here,”he said, “and look at the sun shining on my face,” he added as he received his trophy.
Things were not all plain sailing for him, however. He bogeyed the 17th to let Inglis – waiting in the clubhouse on 10-under – back into the reckoning.
“That was just a poor swing,” he said. “Luckily I had made birdie on 16 to give myself a little bit of a cushion.”
That birdie was the product of a feature of his game during the tournament: His rifle-straight driving put him in position to go for the flag on so many holes and give himself birdie opportunities.
He hit his approach to within two feet on the 16th to convert the birdie opportunity, and after faltering on the 17th, his tee shot on 18 was once again close to perfect.
His approach went 15 feet past the flag, and he was left with an awkward downhill putt for birdie. Things got a little shaky as he ran his putt four feet by.
“Luckily I did not need that for the win,” he joked afterwards, but he sank it anyway to crown a week which consolidated his runaway lead as the front runner for Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year title.
Inglis came storming through the field with a blistering eight-under 64, with four birdies on each of the nines. It was the round of the day, and he was the only player not to drop a shot during his final round.