Louis birdies his way to playoff victory

Louis de Jager made back-to-back birdies at the 18th of Lost City Golf Course on Thursday to beat Vaughn Groenewald and Danie van Tonder in a sudden-death playoff for the Nedbank Affinity Cup.


“It’s always a great feeling to win, especially when you do it in a playoff. There’s extra pressure and I’m really happy that I could play some goods shots and make it count,” De Jager said.


During regulation play the 27-year-old birdied the 17th and 18th to match the clubhouse lead of 12-under-par and add his name to the playoff.


On the first extra hole he and Groenewald made birdie and Van Tonder fell away.


A second extra trip down the 18th was required in order to decide a winner and De Jager was up to the task. He chose to lay up from a waste bunker right of the fairway and proceeded to chip it up to eight feet and secure his victory.


The win marks a second playoff victory in 2014 for De Jager, who ended a five-year title drought in September at the Vodacom Origins of Golf presented by Samsung Wild Coast.


“It still hasn’t sunk in completely, but to win twice this year has made it a special season for me. Two playoff wins is an achievement, but I’m also really happy with the way I played throughout this week,” he said.


Dean Burmester shot 65 to lead the first round and Ruan de Smidt shot 64 to lead the second round, but it was the consistency of De Jager that came out tops. The latest Sunshine Tour winner carded three rounds of 68 to match the leading tournament score.


It was a magical finish from De Jager, who effectively made four consecutive birdies to win the R750,000 tournament. He walked away with R118,875 and Nedbank contributed an equal amount to help grow the game through the South African Golf Development Board.


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