Callie plays it cool, picks his shots and wins at Houghton

Callie Swart calmly played his way through round two at Houghton Golf Club to win by two strokes on Wednesday in the R100,000 Sunshine Big Easy Tour event presented by Stonehage.

Swart kept his cool to shoot one-under for the day and card a tournament score of five-under-par, two shots clear of a trio who shared second, which comprised Mark Williams, Jake Redman and Henk Alberts.

Swart began the day tied for the lead with Redman at four-under-par but soon moved into the lead with a birdie on the par-five third hole.

He carded a further birdie on the sixth and again on the eighth as Swart took advantage of a front nine’s scoring opportunities.

Swart carded just one bogey on his front nine, the drop coming on the par-three seventh, which carries a long water hazard to the left.

He thus made the turn at two-under, and had the wisdom to remain calm on the back nine: “I knew that any shot that was a little bit out could easily lead to a three-putt,” said Swart.

The 14th saw Swart card his second bogey of the day, but that was the only instance where Swart would deviate from par after the turn. “With the difficulty of the greens, I decided to play it safe, and it worked for me,” said Swart.

He finished the day with a round of one-under-par 71. The card set his tournament score to five-under and he took the R14,000 winner’s share of the R100,000 prize money by two strokes.

Redman must be commended for his honesty on the 17th hole. He was tied for first at five-under, yet Redman called a penalty on himself because his ball had moved after he approached it. Redman was the only person to witness the incident.

The win at Houghton will inspire Swart to keep his cool at Benoni Country Club next week where he will have the confidence to go for a second victory – perhaps becoming the first person to win twice on the first year of the tour.

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