Van Der Welt wins Tshwane Open
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2013 Tshwane Open | Wrap | 04 Mar 2013
Dawie Van der Walt held off stiff competition from compatriot Darren Fichardt at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate to claim a maiden European Tour title at the Tshwane Open.
Now based in America, the 30 year old South African looked comfortable throughout Sunday’s final round as he carded a five under par 67 to finish 21 under par and edge out recent Africa Open champion Fichardt by two strokes in Centurion.
It had been the winner of a fortnight ago that got off to the fastest start with three birdies in his first five holes, but when Van der Walt followed up eagle on the fourth with birdies at six and seven he edged past Fichardt by a single stroke.
He would drop his only shot of the week at the tenth to fall back into a brief tie, but further birdies at 12 and 16 proved enough to establish a two shot cushion that he would not relinquish.
“You can only imagine what it’s like to win such a big one,” said Van Der Walt. “I’m just really happy that I played well and won, because you can play well and not win.
“You start doubting yourself and at 30 years old you start to wonder if you’re good enough, and this shows me that I am. I would have liked to win before 30, but I’ll definitely take this. Golf is a game where you don’t get a lot of chances to win, and to do so is fantastic.”
As for the other two men who had shared the 54 hole lead, Charl Coetzee carded a level par 72 to tie for fifth, while Chile’s Mark Tullo struggled to a five over par 77 and a share of 27th place.
Meanwhile South Africa’s Louis De Jager finished third at 18 under after a closing 69, a score matched by American Peter Uihlein who finished one shot worse off in fourth.
Final Round Scores:
267 D Van Der Walt (RSA) 68 65 67 67,
269 D Fichardt (RSA) 65 71 64 69,
270 L De Jager (RSA) 71 65 65 69,
271 P Uihlein (USA) 68 66 68 69,
272 B Åkesson (Swe) 66 75 66 65, D Willett (Eng) 68 68 70 66, C Coetzee (RSA) 67 65 68 72,
273 G Van Der Merwe (RSA) 70 66 68 69, M Madsen (Den) 70 67 69 67,
274 R Wattel (Fra) 70 66 71 67, J Roos (RSA) 69 67 69 69, D Howell (Eng) 67 69 67 71, H Otto (RSA) 71 68 68 67, D Botes (RSA) 69 70 71 64, V Groenewald (RSA) 68 70 70 66,