His flawless final round of five-under-par 67 saw him finish ahead of Dylan Frittelli, who carded the round of the day with his seven-under 65. Bryce Easton and Louis de Jager shared third place on eight-under, with five players in a share of fifth on seven-under.
It was a sweet victory for Rowe, who won his first Sunshine Tour title in 2014 just north of Zimbabwe, when he took the Zambia Sugar Open in Lusaka. “It’s a common trend for me to win in Africa,” he said. “I hope I can keep it going in Lusaka next week.”
After that Lusaka win, Rowe managed only two top 10s until this Harare victory. And with a long break in the Sunshine Tour schedule after the Eye of Africa PGA Championship in late February, it might have been difficult for Rowe to start fast. “We’ve had a long time off, and it’s easy to get a bit complacent. But I find it good to play and get rounds under the belt.”
Rowe started the day six shots off the 54-hole pace set by Breyten Meyer. He set off in pursuit immediately with a birdie on the first hole. Two more by the fifth set on a path to the top of the leaderboard as Meyer – and others – were battling to keep in front of the pursuers.
Birdies at 14 and 17 completed Rowe’s charge. “It’s nice to get it done down the stretch,” he said. “There were a couple of shaky shots coming in but that birdie on 17 was quite big. In the past, I’ve made too many mistakes. Now, it was a question of a couple of birdies and the rest pars – that seemed to do the job.
“I’ve been playing solid golf. If you keep it in the right place, have no three-putts, no double bogeys, then it can work well. Luckily, I took my chances when I had them. I was quite solid off the tee box. I put it in the right place and then my putting’s been quite solid. I’ve moved over to a new grip which seemed to help.”
Rowe’s best year on the Sunshine Tour came in 2012, when a share of eighth in the Africa Open catapulted him to 32nd on the Order of Merit. A win in the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open last year saw Dean Burmester set off on an extraordinary season. Rowe is hoping for the same: “Confidence is huge in this game. I hope I carry this over into the rest of the year,” he said.