Sunshine Tour

Prinsloo takes Serengeti title for 2nd trophy in 3 weeks

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Jaco Prinsloo (Photo by Tyrone Winfield/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)
Jaco Prinsloo (Photo by Tyrone Winfield/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)

Jaco Prinsloo won his third Sunshine Tour title in three weeks on Sunday when he carded a closing four-under-par 68 to take the Serengeti Pro-Am Invitational by a margin of two shots.

He had a shaky start with two bogeys in his opening five holes – admittedly matched with two birdies in the same stretch – but he settled down to turn in one-under 35 and come home with three more birdies on the back nine to finish clear of overnight leader Jaco Ahlers, and three strokes ahead of MJ Viljoen and Neil Schietekat who shared third on 11-under. That was after five rounds in an unusual format which included a rest day after the cut, and a third round on the par-three course at Serengeti.

“It wasn’t an ideal start,” said Prinsloo, “but at least I had made a birdie on one before the bogey on two. The there was a par, and after that I repeated the pattern of the first two holes. So it was a little concerning, but nothing major. And after that, I managed to keep the bogeys off the card, make a couple of birdies and, after I got myself in front, I managed to pull away.

“That’s probably thanks to my fast start with that 64 in the first round. After that, it was actually a bit of a grind, but I knew I could score well, and, thankfully, that all came together today.”

For Prinsloo, the addition of this victory to his triumph in the Players Championship hosted by Dainfern validates a lot of the hard work he has put in to get to the point where he is regularly regarded as a contender in any Sunshine Tour event in which he plays.

“I can’t actually put my finger on any one thing I have been doing that has put me in contention so much,” he said. “Maybe I am just swinging just like Jaco, rather than like Dustin, or Bryson, or anyone else, And when the pressure’s on, that’s a good thing.

“I’ve been riding that momentum, and having got that win at Dainfern, I have certainly felt that I’d be able to score well just about any time if I just keep myself in touch. That certainly proved to be true this week, and it’s something I can take with me going forward,” he added.

An off-day off the tees bedevilled Ahlers’ attempt to hold on for victory, and the three bogeys on his card could probably all be traced to not being in a good position in the fairway to attack the pin or even, in some cases, get to the green. When he was able to make only par on 17, on which the tee had been brought up to entice the attempt to drive the green, his chances of winning finally slipped away after he had made birdie there in all the previous rounds.

Schietekat had a better finish than he experienced last week at Ebotse, where a bogey and a double-bogey in the final three holes cost him the tournament. This week, he carded a five-under-par 67 in the final round, with two birdies in the final three holes, to earn his second-successive share of third.

His wasn’t the low round of the day, however, as Martin Rohwer signed for a seven-under 65 to give him a share of 13th.

For Prinsloo, who climbs to the top of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit with his win, the short break the tour has before the three tournaments co-sanctioned by the Challenge Tour is a relief. “I’m looking forward to the rest,” he said. “But I’m also looking forward to playing again.”

Scores:

327 - Jaco Prinsloo 64 71 53 71 68

329 - Jaco Ahlers 68 69 53 68 71

331 - MJ Viljoen 67 69 51 74 70, Neil Schietekat 70 72 54 68 67

332 - Oliver Bekker 71 71 55 67 68, Louis Albertse 67 75 53 67 70

333 - Michael Palmer 69 72 52 72 68, Roberto Lupini 73 69 51 69 71, Anthony Michael 66 72 58 69 68, Riekus Nortje 73 64 52 70 74, Jason Smith 69 72 53 71 68

334 - Jbe' Kruger 67 70 59 68 70

336 - Martin Rohwer 70 71 56 74 65, Anton Haig 70 70 55 72 69

337 - Daniel Greene 66 73 54 72 72, Jean-Paul Strydom 66 72 57 70 72, Pieter Moolman 71 71 53 73 69, Fredrik From 70 67 57 70 73, Tristen Strydom 70 69 58 72 68, CJ du Plessis 71 71 57 71 67

338 - Kyle McClatchie 68 69 62 71 68, Malcolm Mitchell 71 71 53 71 72, Jared Harvey 68 73 55 67 75, Keagan Thomas 73 69 56 70 70, Jean Hugo 67 74 58 69 70

339 - Andre Nel 73 68 53 73 72, Freddy Schott 67 70 53 73 76, Adilson Da Silva 71 69 56 73 70, Ruan Korb 72 70 58 69 70

340 - Jacques P de Villiers 72 69 53 72 74, Lyle Rowe 70 70 52 67 81

341 - Christiaan Maas 70 66 62 74 69, James Kingston 71 71 59 70 70, Deon Germishuys 68 73 55 74 71

342 - Clinton Grobler 72 69 56 69 76, James Hart du Preez 65 71 64 72 70

343 - Jake Redman 70 73 57 71 72

344 - Ruan Conradie 70 73 56 70 75, Michael Hollick 71 68 62 76 67, Richie O'Donovan 70 72 54 72 76, Estiaan Conradie 72 66 58 74 74

345 - Hennie O'Kennedy 69 72 58 74 72

346 - Luke Brown 73 69 57 74 73, Peetie van der Merwe 71 71 55 76 73, Steve Surry 70 72 59 70 75, Coert Groenewald 73 70 56 75 72

348 - Luca Filippi 71 68 57 78 74, Desne Van Den Bergh 70 71 53 77 77

350 - Clayton Mansfield 74 69 59 71 77, JJ Senekal 71 70 59 76 74

351 - Jack Duthie 70 73 59 77 72

354 - Teaghan Gauche 71 71 59 79 74

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