Play-off triumph for Bremner in Swaziland

Lombard Insurance Classic: Day 3In a dramatic finish to the Lombard Insurance Classic, Merrick Bremner prevailed on the fifth extra play-off hole against CJ du Plessis, to lift his fifth Sunshine Tour title.

Bremner, who started the day six shots back from overnight leader du Plessis, fired a stunning, bogey-free nine-under-par 63 to take the tournament to extra holes, as both players finished tied on 19-under-par.

“It’s kind of a relief actually, so that we don’t have to go back another time. It’s great to win and hard luck to CJ, he’s a fantastic competitor and it’s just a pity on the day I was better than him,” said Bremner.

Bremner put the pressure on the leaders with a strong start, making four birdies and an eagle in his first seven holes.

“I started quick, I think I was six-under through seven and I missed a couple chances on eight and nine, I had it going and managed to birdie 16 and 17 to get myself back into the mix.  I knew if I could get to nine or 10-under today I’d have a chance,” explained Bremner.

The marathon play-off took its toll on both players, as mistakes were made on the short par-three 18th that forced the playoff to continue, however, Bremner was able to limit the damage on the fifth extra hole to claim the title.

“You know the first couple of times you just try and wait out your opponent and see if par is going to be good enough. There is no point trying to take on the flag and then make a mistake and give him an easy win. We both hit some poor shots towards the end and it’s unfortunate that CJ made a couple of bogeys,” said Bremner.

Bremner shot an eight-under-par 64 in the Investec Royal Swazi Open two weeks prior to his win, and it was something which gave him confidence coming into the week.

“I fired in the last round of the Investec as well – I think I was eight-under or something in that round – and the course is there, you just need to give yourself the opportunity. There is a low score out there,” said Bremner.

With a tie-fifth and tie-third finish in the Zambia Sugar Open and Investec Royal Swazi Open respectively, Bremner now has a first win since the 2014 BMG Classic, and it’s this run of form he hopes can take him into Europe.

“I’m actually going to do a stint in Europe on the Challenge Tour for the next six weeks or so. We’ll see if the form can continue and I can gain a European Tour card,” he said.

The dramatic end to the 2016 Lombard Insurance Classic will be remembered for years to come, but for Bremner, it is a win that is special for another reason.

After thanking tournament staff and sponsors, Bremner dedicated the win to his son Max.

“To my son Max who is six months old, this is to you boy.”

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