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Golf | SA

Maiden win for Ahlers at Erinvale



Jaco Ahlers claimed a maiden professional victory when he beat Ulrich van den Berg in a playoff to win the Vodacom Business Origins of Golf Tour Erinvale on Friday.

Ahlers and Van Den Berg finished regulation play tied for the lead on nine under par following respective rounds of 71 and 68.

Playing the par-four 18th as the first playoff hole, Ahlers produced a sublime approach to three feet and holed the putt for birdie and the title. Van Den Berg parred to finish second in a tournament reduced to 36 holes because of bad weather.

“I’ve come close a few times and at last it’s happened for me,” said Ahlers, who led the first round by two strokes following an eight-under-par 64.

On the final day he went out in one over par for the round, while ahead of him Jaco van Zyl made a strong charge.

Van Zyl closed with a 65, including a back nine of 30, to set the clubhouse target at eight under par. Playing with Ahlers, Van Den Berg had climbed to 10 under par playing the par-four 17th.

But his second finished well short of the green and he went on to make bogey. Ahlers then holed a 25-foot putt for birdie to see them tied on nine under playing the last.

“That was a big putt for me,” said Ahlers. “To be honest, I just tried to get my putt close and I’m glad the hole jumped in front of it because it had a bit of speed. But it went in and the rest is history.”

Van Den Berg had a birdie chance to take the title in regulation play, but left his putt inches short of the hole to take them into the playoff.

“I knew something had to happen in my game, and that a good round was on the cards this week,” said Ahlers. “It came with my first round of 64, and then I just kept on going and playing one shot at a time.”

“Walking down the fairway on 18 in the playoff, my caddie said to me, ‘Listen, there are only two places here – first and first loser. So go for the pin and don’t play safe.’ I had the perfect yardage and I couldn’t have asked for a better result.”

The tournament also marked the first time this season that the Birdies for Kiddies initiative, which forms part of this series, crossed the million rand mark this year.

Vodacom has agreed to donate R500 to various charities for every birdie made by a professional on this year’s Vodacom Business Origins of Golf Tour.

A total of 456 birdies were made this week for a sum of R228 000, taking the overall total in the four tournaments to date to R1 145 000.00

FINAL SCORES

135 - Jaco Ahlers 64 71 (won on first hole of sudden death playoff)
135 - Ulrich van den Berg 67 68
136 - Jaco Van Zyl 71 65
138 - Doug McGuigan 69 69, Reggie Adams 67 71
139 - Chris Swanepoel 71 68, Andrew Curlewis 70 69, Dewald Smit 67 72
140 - Ockie Strydom 72 68, Christiaan Basson 70 70, Desvonde Botes 69 71, Titch Moore 68 72
141 - Steve Basson 70 71, Francois van Vuuren 70 71, Grant Muller 66 75
142 - Louis Moolman 73 69, Brandon Pieters 72 70, Nic Henning 72 70, Trevor Fisher Jnr 75 67, Divan van den Heever 69 73, Alex Haindl 76 66
143 - Adilson da Silva (BRA) 71 72, Mike Curtis (ZIM) 71 72, Bradford Vaughan 70 73, Des Terblanche 69 74, Steve van Vuuren 69 74
144 - Tyrone Mordt 72 72, Jean Hugo 71 73, Shaun Norris 74 70, Ryan Thompson 74 70, Cameron Johnston 71 73, Warren Abery 69 75
145 - Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 71 74, Dean Lambert 71 74, Omar Sandys 74 71 146 - Theunis Spangenberg 72 74, Willie van der Merwe 72 74, Darryn Lloyd 73 73, Johan du Buisson 72 74, Lindani Ndwandwe 74 72, Brett Liddle 76 70
147 - Ben Fouchee 73 74, Stuart Clark (WAL) 72 75, Neil Schietekat 76 71
148 - Josh Cunliffe 74 74
149 - Teboho Sefatsa 73 76, Callie Swart 73 76, Peter Karmis 73 76, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 71 78, Keenan Davidse 74 75, Tyrone Ferreira 74 75, Albert Pistorius 75 74, David Hewan 76 73, Francois Olivier 76 73
150 - Heinrich Bruiners 74 76, Prinavin Nelson 78 72
151 - PH McIntyre 73 78, Ross Wellington 75 76, Tsietsi Chabangu 76 75
152 - Ruan Botha 74 78, Hendrik Buhrmann 75 77
153 - Alan Michell 74 79, Oliver Bekker 79 74
154 - Mark Murless 73 81, Roberto Lupini 78 76
156 - Keenan Paulsen 74 82, Gerlou Roux 76 80, Ryan Tipping 78 78, Thabang Simon 80 76
157 - Alpheus Kelapile 82 75, Jon Bethwaite 84 73

from Michael Vlismas

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