Sunshine Tour

Moore wins Telkom PGA

Titch Moore (Gallo Images)
Titch Moore (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Titch Moore has made birdie on the fifth play-off hole to defeat Ulrich van den Berg after more than an hour of extra play in Sunday’s final round of the Telkom Business PGA Championship at Country Club Johannesburg.

This after Van den Berg had two opportunities to finish things off himself during the play-off.

It has been six years and four months since Moore won a Sunshine Tour title and was finally able to fulfil the wish of his six-year-old son, who has been asking him for a trophy for all of his young life.

"It was also my younger son’s third birthday today, so there's real cause to celebrate," Moore said.

He fired a five-under-par 67 to go to 15-under-par for the tournament, a mark that Van den Berg matched with a birdie in his final hole of regulation play.

"I was happy just to get into the play-off...I didn’t think 15 was going to be enough, but I made a birdie on 18 in regulation, made a nice putt coming down the hill," he said.

"To play an extra five holes coming up that mountain was no problem when you come out on the winning end of it. I’m very chuffed."

In the end, it was his consistency in regulation which probably sealed things for Moore.

"I gave myself a couple of chances -- I hit a beautiful shot on 13 and nearly made one, and that just got me in the mood," Moore said.

"At the next hole, I hit it stone cold and I just ground hard out there and, at the end of the day, whether I win in regulation or play-off, I’ll take it."

The play-off was a nerve-wracking affair, and Van den Berg looked the more likely winner throughout.

He had two birdie putts to seal the deal during the second and third trips up the 18th in the play-off, but they just refused to go down.

As both players grew increasing tired and tense, their approaches to the par-five 18th became increasingly inaccurate.

Moore managed to nail it down after a monumentally difficult Van den Berg chip from down the embankment out of thick kikuyu grass slithered too far past the hole for him to make birdie.

He stepped up and rammed home the four-footer he had left and it was over.

JJ Senekal hardly hit a fairway all day, and in the end, his two-under-par 70 was enough to give him third.

Third-round leader Oliver Bekker stumbled on the home stretch with bogeys on 16 and 17, relegating him to a share of fourth with Danie van Tonder and Darren Fichardt.

"I feel really bad for Ulrich," Moore said.

"He's a good player and he's been playing nicely for a while but I've also been knocking on the door for the last year.

"I had a lot of seconds last year, and to finally win a summer tournament on the Sunshine Tour is fantastic."

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