Rourke wins Fish River nail-biter

2015 Sun Fish River Sun Challenge: Day 3On Friday Rourke van der Spuy had an anxious wait in the clubhouse and hoped that his 12-under-par total at the Sun Fish River Challenge would hold, but in the end it did and he became a winner on the Sunshine Tour.

“You always dream of these moments and never really know when they will come. This is what we play for and winning is a bit of a surreal feeling right now,” he said.

The 25-year-old went five-under-par during the final round at Fish River Sun Country Club to cap off a superb week in Port Alfred, but held his breath while Merrick Bremner came within a shot of forcing a playoff.

“Merrick had it going and you can never count him out, so I wanted to stay warmed up just in case. I saw he turned on four-under and he was playing well, but luckily it didn’t go to extra holes,” said Van der Spuy.

The Durban Country Club member has played Fish River Sun on many occasions, so it was the perfect venue for his maiden win, which came in his rookie year on the Sunshine Tour.

“Fish River will always have a special place for me and winning is huge, but hasn’t really sunk in completely. Going forward it will help me to feel like I belong out here, which is a huge step, and hopefully it just gets better from here,” he said.

The R700,000 tournament had to be reduced to 36 holes after gale-force winds stopped play during the second round. Van der Spuy put the weather concerns out of his mind and took on the course when he got the chance, which led to him carding rounds of 65 and 67 for a one-shot victory.

“When we saw the weather coming through on Thursday we knew it would affect the tournament. I wouldn’t say luck of the draw, but it turned out in my favour and I can’t fault that.

“The course played tough, but the scores were out there and I took advantage of the holes when I needed to. I’m very happy with the way I got to 12-under,” he said.

Callum Mowat took home sole third on nine-under-par, while Derick Petersen shot 66 on Friday to join Christiaan Basson in a share of fourth on eight-under-par.

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