20 May 2018

South Africa: Harding Holds Off Roos in Marathon Play-Off

Justin Harding won his second Sunshine Tour title in two weeks when he pulled off a marathon six-hole play-off victory on Sunday in the Lombard Insurance Classic at Royal Swazi Spa Country Club.

He made birdie two on the 18 th after he and Jake Roos had done battle five previous times on that hole without being able to eke out a victory. That was after Roos had shot a nine-under-par 63 in regulation play to force the play-off with Harding who carded a six-under 66.

"I'm exhausted," said Harding after he had seen off the challenge of the man who won his first five Sunshine Tour titles in play-offs. "To be honest, all I was trying to do on that final hole was make birdie, like I do on all the par-threes on this course. In fact, I'm happy to make par on them, but this time, it wasn't enough."In the end, he hit a beautiful six-iron to within two feet on that final play-off hole to set up his birdie chance, while Roos was left of the green and had to use a fairway wood to try and cosy the ball up to the hole.

In the event, Roos nearly holed that attempt. But, he didn't, and Harding made the putt to add the Lombard Insurance Classic title to the Royal Swazi Open he won last week on the same course.

He lost to Roos in a play-off in 2012 after winning the title in 2011, and he lost last year to Oliver Bekker. "It's good to get a play-off win under my belt," said Harding. "But, at the start of the day, I was just hoping I wouldn't get into a play-off."

He made bogey on his third hole, and, while all around him were going low, he spent most of his round trying to play catch-up. He eventually only joined Roos at the top of the leaderboard with a birdie on the 17 th .

Behind Roos, Jaco Ahlers fired a 64 to finish third. Colin Nel also carded a 64 for fourth position, which he shared with Alex Haindl who shot a 66.

The victory consolidated Harding's position at the top of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, and vindicated a more thoughtful approach to his golf. Two victories in two weeks is stark testimony to that.

Scores:

196 - Justin Harding 66 64 66

196 - Jake Roos 67 66 63

198 - Jaco Ahlers 68 66 64

199 - Colin Nel 65 70 64, Alex Haindl 67 66 66

200 - Madalitso Muthiya 69 68 63, Andre De Decker 66 68 66, Combrinck Smit 63 68 69

201 - JJ Senekal 70 66 65, Jake Redman 68 67 66

202 - Matias Calderon 70 68 64, Christiaan Basson 70 67 65

203 - Andrew Curlewis 68 69 66, Steve Surry 70 67 66, Merrick Bremner 70 64 69

204 - Peter Karmis 72 65 67, Tyrone Ryan 68 68 68, Lyle Rowe 66 69 69, Martin Rohwer 66 69 69, Ulrich van den Berg 65 69 70, Vaughn Groenewald 65 68 71

205 - Jared Harvey 71 64 70, Louis de Jager 69 65 71

206 - Thriston Lawrence 70 69 67, Omar Sandys 69 70 67, Rhys West 66 71 69, Jaco Prinsloo 70 66 70, Daniel van Tonder 68 68 70, Ruan Conradie 68 67 71

207 - Derick Petersen 69 69 69, Benjamin Follett-Smith 67 71 69, Desne Van Den Bergh 72 66 69

208 - Luke Jerling 72 67 69, Hennie du Plessis 69 68 71, Neil Schietekat 70 67 71, Matthew Carvell 71 63 74

209 - Riekus Nortje 69 69 71

210 - Ruan de Smidt 68 71 71, Pieter Moolman 69 69 72

211 - Breyten Meyer 74 65 72, Jean-Paul Strydom 70 68 73, Andre Nel 66 72 73

212 - Mark Williams 69 70 73

215 - Marc Cayeux 71 67 77

Source: Sport24

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