Jake takes Cape Town Open in extra time

If the child’s father is any example, Jake Roos’ first baby will come a day or two after its scheduled Christmas birth: Roos slotted a 15-footer for birdie on the second play-off hole on Sunday to win the inaugural R2-million Lion of Africa Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.

“As I walked up to the green on that second play-off hole, I had a good feeling about the putt,” he said. “I saw the line immediately, and I told myself that I could hole it.”

The putt gained him his fifth Sunshine Tour title – his third for the year – and every one of his victories has come in a play-off.

“There’s nothing to lose when you get into play-offs,” he said, “so you can just relax and let yourself go. Other than that, I don’t know how to explain how I’ve won so many.”

He defeated Tyrone van Aswegen, Mark Williams and Jaco van Zyl in the play-off after all four had finished at nine-under-par 279 in regulation play.

It was a case of things coming together nicely for Roos, as he had his father on the bag for the first time – and they will be travelling together to the Asian Tour’s Qualifying School in January.

Van Zyl was the first to drop out when he made bogey on their first return journey down the 18th, and then Roos managed to close the deal with his putt from the fringe just right of the flag.

It was a day during which Roos probably could have finished things off in regulation, but the putts seemed intent on staying out of the hole. His chances seemed to have slipped away when he made bogey on 15 with a missed three-footer, but he clawed his way back with a birdie on 16.

It wasn’t the first time he missed a short one and bounced right back in that final round: He missed a four-footer for par on six, but he rebounded with an eagle-three on the seventh. “I hit a three-wood which pitched about pin-high and then rolled through green, about 20 feet away and in the fringe.

“It was the same feeling for me when I walked onto the green there as I got later on 18 in the playoff,” he said. “I saw the line immediately, and I just knew I could make it.”

But there was more tension to come for him, and after the bogey on 15, and the recovery on 16, it was a sublime approach to 18 inches on the 18th in regulation which set up his finishing birdie and got him into the playoff.

Williams had a chance to win it, holding a one-stroke lead at 10-under as he teed off on 18. But he was overly cautious and sliced his tee-shot to the base of a tree in the rough. He could only advance his ball diagonally over the fairway and his approach left him too much work for the par he needed to win.

It was a third title for Roos in 2012, but the first in a major summer event on the Sunshine Tour over four rounds. “It took something more than it took to win those three-rounders,” said Roos, “and it’s making me feel pretty confident ahead of the rest of the big summer events.”

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