Good boy Hennie keeps cool to win Platinum Classic

Two years ago, consecutive bogeys in a final round would have made Hennie Otto explode, but on Saturday at Mooinooi Golf Club, he responded to the pressure with three birdies in six holes to win the Platinum Classic presented by UD Trucks by two strokes.

With his three-round total of 17-under-par 199, he took the R500,000 event from Darren Fichardt after the pair had been level when Fichardt birdied 12.

“The old Hennie would have lost his cool,” joked Otto after he flew a wedge over the back of the 11th green for the first of the two bogeys in his final round of the 54-hole tournament. “And then a bad swing habit came back on the 12th as I pushed my tee shot right, and that caused the second bogey.”

But he contained himself, went back to the swing advice he had got from Mark McCann when he played in the Bridgestone Invitational on the US PGA Tour earlier in the year, and got the ship back to sailing smoothly to a victory.

He made birdies on 14, 16 and 17 to pull clear of Fichardt, and although he gave a lot of credit to the course – “It gives us lots of birdie opportunities,” he said – it was his consistency over the three days which won him the tournament.

“I made only six bogeys all week,” he said, “three in the first round, only one in the second and then the two today.”

In fact, his scorching 63 in the second-round included an eagle and eight birdies, and it was that which lifted him into contention.

Fichardt made bogeys on three and eight which cost him in the end as his final-round 68 fell short of being able to force a playoff or snatch victory.

Rookie Allan Versfeld, Brandon Pieters and Merrick Bremner shared third on 14-under-par.

For Versfeld and Pieters, it was reward for a good week’s work, but Bremner endured an agonising final round which included two bogeys, a double-bogey and a disastrous quadruple-bogey nine on the eighth hole. But he held his emotions in check, and closed with five birdies in his last nine holes for a level-par 72.

Bremner was in the leading group to start the final round, together with Justin Harding and overnight leader Jaco Ahlers.

Like Bremner, they also battled, with each carding a three-over 75 to slip from contention and into a share sixth and 11th respectively.

For Otto, it was a sign that all the work he has been doing – on his swing as well as his temperament – is paying off.

“I didn’t come here to win – no-one can presume to do that on the Sunshine Tour these days, it has improved so much – but to find my game,” he said.

“And when I survived the 11th and 12th today,” he added, “I knew the changes were getting close to being permanent.”

© 2016 Sunshine Tour. All rights reserved. Website constructed by OCS Sport