Swanepoel hunts down his second title as he wins at Arabella

Chris Swanepoel cruised to his second Sunshine Tour victory when he won the R540,000 Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Arabella by three strokes on Friday.

He carded a final round 68, his four-under-par finish taking him to 205, 11-under-par for the 54-hole tournament.

He saw off the challenge of Christiaan Basson, who signed for a three-under 69 in the final round, while Andrew Curlewis finished in third place thanks to his fine five-under-par 67.

Three players shared fourth on 210, six-under-par.

“I don’t normally like the Cape much,” joked Swanepoel afterwards, “but I quite like it now – especially after the weather held for all three days.”

He built his victory around his first nine in the second round, which he played in an astonishing 29 strokes. “That sets you up for a win,” said Swanepoel, “or at least a top 10.”

He won his maiden Sunshine Tour title in 2007 when he took the Eskom Power Cup, so top 10 was not going to be an option for the 26-year-old professional from Pretoria. “Before the final round, I just decided to play steadily and try and keep mistakes to a minimum,” said Swanepoel.

“It got a bit tight for me around the turn,” he said of the stretch from 10 to 14 where he made two bogeys, “but I just kept going and I managed to make some birdies when they were available to keep in front.”

He finally put daylight between himself and his challengers when he birdied the 16th and was able to play the 18th with some comfort: He swept a drive a long way down the fairway with the lagoon to his right and hit a short iron in to 25 feet – leaving him the luxury of having a putt for eagle, and a tap-in for birdie to win the title in style.

Divan van den Heever, Justin Harding and Vaughn Groenewald were the players in fourth, but they were unable to makeany impression on the lead after Swanepoel had carded that seven-under-par 65 in the second round.

The win lifted Swanepoel’s position on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit to 28th, and with some weeks off before the next event on the Tour, he was looking forward to some rest and recreation: “The only thing I’m like to shoot next week is a kudu,” said the hunting enthusiast.

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