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Golf | SA

Peter Karmis © Gallo Images

Karmis wins Sun City Challenge

Peter Karmis put up the fight of his life to win his second title of the 2017-18 Sunshine Tour season when he defeated a rejuvenated Jake Roos on the first playoff hole of the 54-hole R750 000 Sun City Challenge on Friday.

He came into the final round three shots behind the leading Roos but eventually finished on six-under-par for the tournament.

In what was a decent round on the final day, Karmis made three birdies and two bogeys and that was enough to land him in the playoff after Riekus Nortje relinquished his lead for the day when he looked like he’d win.

“This was a little unexpected,” said Karmis, “but any win is the nicest win. I’m not too fussy about how it comes.”

He won the Investec Royal Swazi Open in May for his fourth Sunshine Tour title, and this second title of the year has set the 36-year-old who plays out of Clovelly in Cape Town has set himself up nicely for the year.

“I’m very pleased,” he said. “I’ve been working hard and I think I’m starting to be able to get into the mix and give myself a chance. Look, I was lucky today. Jake hit it in the hazard on the playoff hole, and also, I birdied the 18th to get into the playoff. That pin was just about in the bunker,” he laughed.

The reality, though, was that Karmis played it smart on the playoff hole, even though he pushed his tee shot to the trees on the right of the fairway on the iconic ninth at Gary Player Country Club.

He laid up and then hit a five-iron punch shot to about 100 yards, then placed himself 20 feet beyond the tight pin.

“I always lay up,” laughed Karmis. “Even if I striped it down there, I was laying up. Normally I’m quite bold, but I just didn’t have the right club for the yardage. And I definitely wouldn’t have gone for the flag!

“In regulation, I laid up with a gap wedge. Pretty lame, I know, and then I hit another gap wedge in close. That was the original strategy on the playoff hole.”

Roos, on the other hand, tried to reach the green in two. He sent his second shot into the inside edge of the water and failed to make the putt to send the play-off to an additional hole after he took his penalty.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to win a second time this season,” said Karmis. “I’m very pleased. I felt like I needed it as well. You always need a win!”


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