Rowe lifts Zim Open

HARARE - South African Lyle Rowe picked up his second win on the Sunshine Tour circuit when he fired a final round 67 on his way to lifting the Golden Pilsener Open trophy yesterday.

The Port Elizabeth-based golfer ended the tournament on 11-under-par 277 and some three shots ahead of second-placed Dylan Frittelli also of South Africa, who had a score of nine-under-par 279.

Rowe picked up a winning cheque of R285 300 while Frittelli took home R207 000, courtesy of the sponsors Delta Beverages.

Bryce Easton and Louis de Jager finished the championship tied in third place after ending the championship on eight-under-par 208 to take home R106 470 each.

Zimbabwean Scott Vincent recovered from a disastrous third round to end his championship on seven-under-par 281 after a solid 67 yesterday.

Vincent, who was playing his first Zimbabwe Open as a professional, finished in fifth place together with South Africans Mark Murless, Hennie du Plessis, Breyten Meyer and Swede Jonathan Agren, who also ended on seven-under-par 281.

The day, however, belonged to Rowe, who shot five birdies to make his way up the leaderboard at a time the overnight leader Freyten Meyer and Vaughn Groenewald were capitulating on the course.

By the time Rowe finished his round only Du Plessis, who was 10-under-par, still had a chance to catch the leader but he could not hold his nerves as he had his Jordan Spieth moment on the last two holes.

Du Plessis double bogeyed 17 and went on to drop another shot on the final hole to hand Rowe the win when the entire crowd had anticipated for a play-off.

After the long wait, Rowe was pleased to pick up his second win on the circuit after the Zambia Sugar Open title in 2014.

“It’s a great feeling to finally get a win again. It’s been a while so it’s nice to win; Zimbabwe is a great place and this is a great tournament,” Rowe told reporters.

“I didn’t think I had a chance heading into the final round. The leaders were six shots ahead of me so I knew if I made my putts and play well; you never know the pressure coming down the last stretch.”

The 32-year-old added: “I made such a good shot on 14 but I made really nice putt which made me get that extra momentum. I hope I can keep the game going and maybe get a couple of more wins.”

For Scott Vincent, a top 10 finish was a huge reward after a disappointing third round in which he finished five-over-par 77.

“I’m very happy. Yesterday (Saturday) was a bit of a sour taste in my mouth you know; coming off that course I really wanted to do well in this tournament; maybe that was the problem, I was trying too hard,” he said.

“Today (yesterday) there was a bit less pressure; I just got out there and tried to put in a good score. I’m very happy with how it went.”

The 23-year-old Zimbabwean was disappointed with that poor third round display which cost him a chance of earning his first win on the tour.

“It’s easy to look back and say I could have done this but I’m not dwelling on the past. I’m now looking ahead and just glad to have played a good round today,” he said.

Vincent’s young brother Kieran walked away with the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open green jacket after finishing as the best-placed amateur.

Kieran finished the championship tied for 48 with a score of four-over-par 292.

The only other amateur to make the cut was young David Amm, who was in last place on 15-over-par 303.

Zimbabwean Mark Williams ended the championship on level par while Ryan Cairns was on three-over-par 291.

Marc Cayeux, who was playing his first tournament after a tragic road accident five years ago, had a gross total of eight-over-par 296.

Mohammad Mandhu and Greg Bentley were a further short back.

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