Doug outlasts Jean in Zambia shootout

Doug McGuigan won the KCM Zambia Open after five gruelling playoff holes with Jean Hugo in the R1,2-million tournament at Nchanga Golf Club on Sunday.

McGuigan shot 69 to close the tournament at 16-under-par, but had to play the 18th a further five times, the longest playoff of his career, before lifting the trophy.

“The hole just seemed to get smaller, but it went in, and it’s really satisfying to come out on top. It feels sensational,” said McGuigan.

His three-under-par card came on the back of four birdies and a lone drop at the 15th. “I played really solid the whole day and I was really happy about the way I controlled my nerves,” he said.

McGuigan displayed fantastic scrambling throughout the day, beginning at the 12th, where he played out of a green-side bunker, nearly holed the shot and stopped a foot from the pin. His skill with a sand wedge earned him a birdie at the hole.

And again at the 16th he pulled his tee shot into a stand of trees 160-metres from the pin, yet McGuigan hit one of the best shots of the day and landed just in front of the green. He two-putted for a fantastic par. “Six years ago I played that hole and I didn’t like it. Nothing has changed, but I was very happy with that par,” said McGuigan.

On the first hole of the playoff, Hugo hit the flagstick with his iron from 100 metres and tapped in for birdie, but McGuigan stayed calm and one-putted from 12 feet to match Hugo.

They both played regulation golf for the next playoff hole, but on the third playoff run McGuigan overshot the green. He made a solid up and down, and Hugo failed to capitalise on the opportunity when his birdie putt stopped two inches from the cup.

During the fourth playoff hole the pair again played regulation golf, making the green in two and two-putting for par.

But on the fifth Hugo landed behind a large anthill and had no clear line to the flag, while McGuigan landed square on the fairway. The latter played in to three feet from the pin, while Hugo failed to make the green with his chip and left McGuigan with two putts for the win. Yet McGuigan sank in one and took the R1,2-million tournament with a stroke to spare. “Jean had trouble off the tee and left me with a real opportunity,” said McGuigan.

And in one word how did it feel to win? “Spectacular,” said the new KCM Zambia Open champion.

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