Sunshine Tour

Coetsee wins Zambia Open

Wallie Coetsee (Gallo Images)
Wallie Coetsee (Gallo Images)

Kitwe - Wallie Coetsee has lifted his first trophy in 17 years courtesy a closing 71 for a 15 under par total and a one stroke victory, at the Mopani Copper Mines Zambia Open, on Sunday.

“There are no words to describe how this feels, it’s just so special," said the 42-year-old after his round at the Sunshine Tour event.

"I knew that victory was close and today it came down to having 22 years of experience.

"I hit the shots like I practice them every day."

A crucial par save at the 12th hole set Coetsee on course for the victory, but the Jeffrey’s Bay local had to dig deep to prevent runners-up Danie van Tonder and Justin Harding from snatching the title.

“At the 12th I hit my five iron into the long grass and had a terrible lie,” Coetsee said.

“I tried to play it out and it only went about 10 metres and it was still in the rough.

"I hit an incredible chip after that and it stopped about a metre from the pin. That was the turning point and I could focus on the job from there.”

The new champion was overwhelmed after he signed his card in score recording as the victory sank in.

“We live to play tournament golf, to be in contention, and to feel that adrenaline," said Coetsee.

"There’s no better feeling than making those big shots and to walk down the last like I did today."

His name featured prominently on leaderboards throughout the week and rounds of 65, 69, 68 made him the 54-hole leader. It came down to Sunday, as always, and Coetsee produced the goods.

“It’s not about winning, it’s about grinding every week. You try to get those top 10s and wait for your week, but that does take a lot of patience,” said Coetsee.

There were extra celebrations for Allan Versfeld and Jaco Prinsloo, both made a hole-in-one during the week to win a car.

Versfeld took home a Jeep Cherokee during the first round after holing out at the third from 151 metres with an eight-iron.

On Sunday Prinsloo won a Toyota Corolla with a pitching wedge from 131 metres at the 11th.

But the day belonged to Coetsee and he savoured the victory.

“After all these years playing on the Sunshine Tour it helped to have the experience and slow myself down when things got intense," said Coetsee.

"I was so relaxed on the course and really enjoyed playing today. But to win …it’s hard to tell you how great it feels right now."

Scores (RSA unless otherwise specified):
273 - Wallie Coetsee 65 69 68 71
274 - Justin Harding 68 71 67 68, Danie van Tonder 69 68 66 71
275 - Francesco Laporta (ITA) 71 67 70 67, Jean Hugo 71 67 64 73
276 - Erik van Rooyen 68 69 71 68, CJ du Plessis 70 67 69 70
277 - Warren Abery 73 66 69 69, Theunis Spangenberg 62 72 69 74
278 - Jaco Ahlers 72 70 69 67, Keenan Davidse 70 69 68 71
280 - Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 70 73 70 67, Peter Karmis 71 74 68 67, Matthew Carvell 70 72 68 70, Jared Harvey 67 69 69 75
281 - Jacques Blaauw 74 67 72 68, Louis de Jager 70 72 68 71, Allan Versfeld 71 71 65 74
282 - Gideon Pienaar 73 69 72 68, Jacques Kruyswijk 65 72 74 71
283 - JC Ritchie 72 69 73 69, Desne van den Bergh 72 74 68 69, Callum Mowat 70 72 68 73
284 - Attie Schwartzel 72 71 74 67, Jaco Prinsloo 69 77 71 67, Tyrone Ferreira 72 69 74 69, Pieter Moolman 69 76 70 69, Heinrich Bruiners 70 72 69 73
285 - Tertius van den Berg 71 70 78 66, Le Roux Ferreira 73 69 74 69, Rhys West 72 72 72 69, Desvonde Botes 74 69 71 71, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 76 67 71 71, Lyle Rowe 67 70 76 72, Gert Myburgh 72 69 72 72, Doug McGuigan 73 68 71 73, Andrew Georgiou 71 70 70 74
286 - Lindani Ndwandwe 79 67 72 68, Merrick Bremner 69 70 77 70, Eddie Taylor 73 72 70 71, Dayne Moore (ZAM) 69 73 70 74, Christiaan Basson 73 68 69 76
287 - Oliver Bekker 70 73 73 71, Juan Langeveld 69 74 73 71, Toto Thimba (Jnr) 74 70 70 73
288 - Torben Baumann (GER) 73 73 74 68, Neil Schietekat 78 67 73 70, Andrew Light 71 72 71 74, Wynand Dingle 70 75 68 75, Ruan de Smidt 73 67 71 77
289 - Dean Burmester 71 74 74 70, Stuart Smith (BOT) 72 72 72 73, Titch Moore 69 73 73 74, TC Charamba (ZIM) 73 72 69 75
290 - T I Mazibuko 68 73 75 74, Jake Redman 74 70 72 74, Bryce Easton 72 74 68 76
291 - Charl Coetzee 71 72 77 71, Hendrik Buhrmann 74 72 70 75
293 - Ryan Tipping 71 75 74 73, Andrew Curlewis 72 71 75 75, Justin Turner 73 70 73 77
294 - Francois Coetzee 72 74 75 73, Andre Cruse 76 70 74 74
295 - Grant Veenstra 71 75 76 73, Drikus Bruyns 70 74 76 75, Derick Petersen 75 71 70 79
298 - Shaun Smith 73 72 75 78, PH McIntyre 71 71 76 80
301 - JG Claassen 78 68 78 77

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