PH takes special Swazi victory

Investec Royal Swazi Open: Day 4PH McIntyre gave his mother Sanet an extra reason to be happy on Mothers’ Day after he won the Investec Royal Swazi Open by two points on Saturday.

“This means a lot to me. My mother was born here and I have family here in Swaziland, so it’s a special place. This has always been one that I’ve wanted to win, it’s been on my calendar for a long time,” said the new champ.

The R1.2-million tournament uses a modified stableford scoring system that encourages aggressive golf. Holding the lead is never a sure thing, because players can accrue points very quickly.

In spite of the challenge McIntyre was rock-solid while handling the pressure of the final round, but it was his eagle at the 12th that left his rivals battling to catch up at Royal Swazi Sun Country Club.

“Standing on the 12th tee my caddie told me I needed a good drive, and I hit one. I had 96 metres to the flag and I knew it was going to be close, which it was. That eagle made the day for me, it was the key point,” said the 28-year-old.

Under the modified stableford scoring system an albatross is worth eight points, an eagle is worth five points, and a birdie is worth two points. Par counts for zero points, while one point is deducted for a bogey and two for a double-bogey or worse.

McIntyre made clutch up-and-downs at 14 and 15 while overnight leader Tyrone Mordt began applying pressure, and in the end solid nerves led to a second career victory.

“This format gives you a chance to go for it when you normally wouldn’t,” said McIntyre. “This game is about big points, which makes it a nice change in how you approach the week. The nerves were there, but I stayed calm and I’m really glad to pull it through.”

Morne Buys had a cracker Sunday and set out an early target of 43 points, but the two-time Big Easy Tour winner eventually took home sole second. Grant Veenstra also had a good day and recorded a third-place result, while Mordt, Ockie Strydom, and James Kamte shared fourth on 41 points each.

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