Wed, 20 Nov 2019

Ahlers bags 2nd win of season with Selborne victory

News24
20 Oct 2019, 04:13 GMT+10

Pennington - Jaco Ahlers turned a great par-save on Saturday into a second victory of his Sunshine Tour season when he won the 54-hole R1-million Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Selborne Golf Estate by two strokes.

He carded a final round of five-under-par 67 to finish two clear of Ockie Strydom, and a further two ahead of James Hart du Preez and Jacques Blaauw. But when Ahlers made a double-bogey six on the seventh, he must have felt his chances were slipping away.

However, he birdied the eighth, and then came the great escape: "I made an unbelievable par on nine," he said. "I hit a very bad tee shot, I hit a bad second shot and I made up and down from 100 yards to make par and turn with a two-shot lead.

"Then, making birdie on 10, I started thinking I could do this. Then I hit a great shot on 12 to make eagle, and at that point I saw Ockie making a bit of a charge. I made a few putts coming in that were crucial for par - and they were moments that gave me my self-belief."

Self-belief has been something that Ahlers has had to work hard on regaining since one of the biggest wins of his career in the Dimension Data Pro Am in February 2018.

"This just helps me believe a bit more," he said. "It was a tough 18 months after winning at Di Data - I lost a bit of game, and off the course wasn't great - and then winning in Swaziland at the beginning of September was nice, and justifying it with a second one is great."

That the win came so soon after he had a good shot at winning the tournament at the Wild Coast Sun just last week was also a big boost. "It was so nice to get it done," he said. "Last week I was in a position to make a run at it and I faltered over the last few holes. Then you start not believing as much anymore, so getting it done today is just great."

Strydom, who won his maiden Sunshine Tour title at Sishen in August. Made an impressive charge. He pieced together a pair of nines in 32 shots each, with not a bogey in sight, but Ahlers had too much of a cushion to be caught.

Du Preez had his best finish of the season, closing in a 66 and improving from his share of ninth in last month's King's Cup in Swaziland. Blaauw had a 69 for his final round and a share of third.

For Ahlers, however, there is a lot to savour.

"I've been in this position a few times," he said. "I've been on tour for 14 years, and it's nice to know that I can finish it off, and I can perform under the gun - and that's a feeling I want if I'm going to go and play on bigger tours.

"This gets me up the Order of Merit quite substantially, and now I've got a shot at maybe pulling off a win on it, which I haven't had before - I've been close, but not close enough. I'm playing at Simola in two weeks which means I'm staying at home which is great - I'm just going to try and ride the wave as long as possible.

"And I'm going to the European Tour Qualifying School in a few weeks and I have been given the belief that I can play."

Scores:

201 - Jaco Ahlers 64 70 67

203 - Ockie Strydom 69 70 64

205 - James Hart du Preez 69 70 66, Jacques Blaauw 70 66 69

206 - Allister de Kock 68 68 70, Thriston Lawrence 68 66 72

207 - Rhys West 71 71 65, Dylan Kok 72 68 67, Steve Surry 67 70 70, Trevor Fisher Jnr 70 66 71, Heinrich Bruiners 68 67 72

209 - David McIntyre 71 73 65, Keith Horne 73 69 67, JJ Senekal 69 70 70, Ruan Conradie 67 71 71

210 - Breyten Meyer 72 71 67, Fredrik From 73 68 69, Neil Schietekat 71 68 71

211 - Luke Jerling 75 69 67, Hennie Otto 72 69 70

212 - DK Kim 71 73 68, Oliver Bekker 75 69 68, Jean Hugo 72 71 69, Anton Haig 74 68 70, Christiaan Basson 74 68 70, Madalitso Muthiya 70 71 71, Adilson Da Silva 71 70 71, Lyle Rowe 66 71 75

213 - Garth Mulroy 71 73 69, Franklin Manchest 71 71 71, Jonathan Agren 71 70 72, JC Ritchie 65 68 80

214 - Martin Rohwer 75 69 70, Hennie du Plessis 70 73 71, Derick Petersen 69 72 73

215 - Ruan Huysamen 74 70 71, Arno Pretorius 74 70 71, Teboho Sefatsa 72 72 71, Keenan Davidse 74 70 71, Duane Keun 73 70 72, Andre Nel 72 69 74, Daniel van Tonder 71 70 74, Wallie Coetsee 66 74 75

216 - Jade Buitendag 73 71 72, Ruan de Smidt 77 67 72, Philip Geerts 74 68 74, Theunis Bezuidenhout 68 72 76

217 - Sean Bradley 77 67 73, Tristen Strydom 70 74 73, Dylan Naidoo 73 68 76

219 - Merrick Bremner 71 71 77

220 - Mark Williams 73 71 76

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