Roos rallies to win Zim Open

HARARE - South African Jake Roos is the 2013 Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open champion after coming from four shots behind to eclipse Darren Ficahrdt and Francesco Laporta in the final round here yesterday.

Roos began the day on nine-under 207 and carded a five-under 67 to win his sixth Sunshine Tour event of his career by one shot.

The 33-year-old was presented with a floating trophy by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and a winners’ cheque of R261 525.

The overnight leaders, Fichardt and the Italian Laporta finished the tournament tied for second on 13-under 275.

Both golfers walked away with R151 965 for their second place finish at Zimbabwe’s premier golf event.

South Africans Doug McGuigan and Lindani Ndwandwe finished tied for fourth on 12-under 276.

Roos however had an anxious wait before he was confirmed champion after having set the clubhouse lead on 14-under 274.

Ficahrdt and Laporta were the last group and approached the 18th all one shot behind Roos’ score.

Laporta had the best chance to get to 14-under when he found the green with his second shot and the ball was left 15 feet off the pin.

Ficahrdt’s second shot landed some 45 feet from the pin but his long putts were the hallmark of his game all week.

The Centurion-based golfer was however unfortunate to miss the long birdie putt as his third shot lipped out of the cup and he ended up parring the hole.

Laporta could not handle the pressure as he shot missed the cup by a few inches to give Roos the win.

All the previous five tournaments Roos had won on the Sunshine Tour were via a playoff and he was psyching himself up for another extra hole before Fichardt and Laporta missed their birdie putts.

“I was getting ready for it (playoff) because you don’t want to be surprised when you have got to go and play in the playoff. But I’m glad that it worked out. You never know because you can’t count the other guys out,” an excited Roos told reporters after the trophy presentation.

“What’s gonna happen is gonna happen you know. You can’t control the other guys’ shots. I was expecting them to make it and in the end they missed.”

Roos’ attributed his win to the chip he played on the par-three number 15 when his tee shot had missed the green.

“It was a real nice final round. It started off a little bit slow towards the middle but I really finished nicely,” he said.

“At the beginning of the back nine I saw that no one else was really pulling away so I knew that I had a great chance and luckily from there on things started happening for me.

“I was expecting the Italian to make his (putt) but not Darren from about 45 feet. I think what turned it around for me was the chip on the 15th and that really got me going because I missed the green on the right. But my chip went in.”

Roos, who is eying an European Tour card, will now have his name on the Zim Open trophy besides former world number 1s, Nick Price and Vijay Singh.

Price won the tournament trice in 1995, 1997 and 1998 while the Indian Singh won it in 1989.

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