De Smidt cruises to victory

ruansstinsudeRuan de Smidt cruised to his third Sunshine Tour victory at Ebotse Links, carding a final round one-under-par 71 to claim a three-stoke win over Ockie Strydom in the Sun Carnival City Challenge.

“Yeah I’m very happy with winning this week,” de Smidt said after finishing on a total of 11-under-par.“The ball striking this week was superb. I hit it really well. Even today under pressure and in the wind I hit it really solidly and kept it in play,” he added.

The nerves were there towards the finishing stretch, and de Smidt showed experience beyond his years to remain calm under pressure.

“After the par-three 15th I was fine and after the 16th I was fine. When we got to 17 I thought I hit a good three wood but I still has 201 metres into the flag. It was straight into the wind and I wasn’t going to go anywhere near the flag. I tried keeping it short of the bunker but unfortunately it went in. The bunker shot was always going to be way short and we just two-putted from there,” he explained.

The nerves were there primarily due to the scintillating seven-under-par round Strydom put together in the 30km/h winds.

“I actually did have a look at the leaderboards when I made my way onto the back nine. I try not to do that, but I saw I had a three or four shot lead, so it wasn’t too bad,” said de Smidt.

The game plan de Smidt implemented around the tricky links layout paid dividends, however luck was on his side throughout the three rounds.

“I think you need to have that kind of luck to win tournaments. Luckily it went my way this week. I had a lot of good bounces and a lot of good putts that could have missed but went in, so I’m really happy,” he said.

De Smidt’s one-under 71 was the joint second best round of the day, with Strydom’s 65 not quite enough to rein in the man from Krugersdorp. The 65 left Strydom two-strokes ahead of third placed Jacques Blaauw who finished on six-under-par.

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