European Tour

SA's Daniel van Tonder wins playoff for maiden European Tour title

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South African golfer Daniel van Tonder (Getty Images)
South African golfer Daniel van Tonder (Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin

South African golfer Daniel van Tonder has sealed his maiden European Tour title with a three playoff hole win at the Kenya Savannah Classic at Karen Country Club on Friday.

Trailing by two shots heading into the final round, Van Tonder carded nine birdies and two bogeys to finish on 21-under alongside Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond.

Van Tonder and Janewattananond parred the first two trips back down the 18th hole, it was third time lucky for Van Tonder as he converted his short birdie putt in his 49th European Tour appearance.

"I've been playing well and working hard on the game, I'm overwhelmed. My wife and I have been a great team. I'm happy," said Van Tonder. 

"I was thinking I'm usually a bit dangerous on the last few holes, I knew I could make a few birdies. Second-last hole I hit myself behind a tree, took some thinking of making a par. I told my wife on the last hole I'd put myself on the green, give myself a chance to make a putt and I did."

The win ensures Van Tonder additional European Tour playing rights, a feat Van Tonder was eager to achieve when speaking to Sport24 earlier this month.

"It's very exciting. We've been working hard. It took a while, but it came and I'm very happy - my wife is over the moon. I'm very happy and grateful."

The win is Van Tonder's eighth win worldwide and the fifth trophy in eight months for the South African after sealing four Sunshine Tour titles last year.

Van Tonder became the second South African to win in a week after Justin Harding claimed his second European Tour victory at the Kenya Open on Sunday.

It also saw him rise as high as 18th on the Race to Dubai Rankings up from 153rd.

Meanwhile, England's Sam Horsfield and Scotland's Calum Hill both carded seven under par final rounds of 64 to share third place on 20-under par.

South Africa's Jacques Kruyswijk finished two shots further back in a tie for fifth place on 18-under par alongside Scotland's David Drysdale.

The European Tour is on a break and will resume on 15-18 April for the Austria Open.

"We're flying back home tomorrow morning, to South Africa. Then we have a few weeks off to try and sort out our visas and see where we can go when tournaments start again and just be ready for the next European Tour event," ended Van Tonder.

Leading final round scores in the European Tour's Kenya Savannah Classic at the Karen Country Club, Nairobi, Kenya on Friday (GBR/IRL unless stated; Par 71):

263 - Daniel van Tonder (RSA) 65 64 70 64 (won at the third extra play-off hole), Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 66 68 65 64

264 - Sam Horsfield 66 68 66 64, Calum Hill 67 68 65 64

266 - David Drysdale 65 65 69 67, Jacques Kruyswijk (RSA) 70 64 68 64

267 - Joost Luiten (NED) 64 68 70 65, Matthias Schwab (AUT) 66 70 66 65, Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 67 66 68 66

268 - Nino Bertasio (ITA) 67 70 68 63, Darius van Driel (NED) 70 62 69 67, Marcus Armitage 65 67 67 69, Darren Fichardt (RSA) 65 66 68 69

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