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Golf | SA

JC Ritchie © Gallo Images

Ritchie wins Zimbabwe Open



JC Ritchie saw off Trevor Fisher Jnr. on the second play-off hole at Royal Harare Golf Club to win the 2017 Zimbabwe Open.

After being seven-over-par after his first seven holes of the tournament, Ritchie bounced back with 29 birdies to tie Fisher on 16-under-par for the week.

“I actually started the week off quite rough. I was seven-over-par after seven holes. I made that eagle-two on the ninth and that’s where it turned around for me,” explained Ritchie.

Ritchie sealed the dramatic win with a right to left 13-foot putt on the 18th green, which epitomised his putting display during the week.

“That was unreal golf. I really enjoyed it and never really felt like I was out of contention. It was one of the best putting expositions I’ve had in my entire life,” he said.

Fisher started his final round strongly, however three bogeys in a row at the turn saw his three-shot lead disappear. An eagle at the par-five 16th saw him shoot back into a two-shot lead, but a double-bogey on the 17th made for a play-off with Ritchie.

“I felt last night that 63 today would definitely win by one. I didn’t expect Fish to make double on the 17th, he was playing unreal golf. When I got onto 15 tee box I knew I needed three more [birdies]. I hit an unreal second shot into 16 and lipped out for eagle,” Ritchie said.

The win is his first on the Sunshine Tour and it promises to set up a good run of form for the remainder of the season

LEADING FINAL SCORES (* won playoff)

272 - *JC Ritchie 74 67 67 64, Trevor Fisher Jnr 67 63 73 69

273 - Oliver Bekker 67 68 73 65

274 - Jaco Ahlers 69 69 68 68

276 - Jean Hugo 65 69 74 68

277 - Andrew Curlewis 69 70 68 70, Doug McGuigan 73 69 63 72

278 - Toby Tree 72 68 67 71

279 - Neil Schietekat 70 69 72 68, Wallie Coetsee 72 69 68 70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 71 71 67 70

280 - Peter Karmis 70 73 70 67, Chris Swanepoel 74 67 70 69, Rourke van der Spuy 68 72 70 70, Tyrone Ferreira 68 72 70 70, Anthony Michael 68 70 70 72

281 - Vaughn Groenewald 68 71 73 69, Breyten Meyer 71 67 72 71, Christiaan Basson 72 67 70 72

282 - Andrew Odoh 75 68 69 70



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