Timeous Swazi win for Christiaan

Christiaan Basson is a brand ambassador for Investec and is due to get married in five weeks, so his win at the Investec Royal Swazi Sun Open on Saturday came at the perfect time and tournament.

“This is great – I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I was so relieved when I sunk that last putt. My wedding is in just over a month, and I’m really looking forward to it. This does a fair amount for my stress levels,” he said.

The King David Golf Club professional clocked up 12 points during the final round at Royal Swazi Golf Club, which was enough to earn a one-point victory over Danie van Tonder and Desvonde Botes.

“I had a very enjoyable day,” said Basson. “They are both nice guys and we had fun, even though we were rivals. I’m ecstatic to have won in Swaziland. I signed with Investec after this tournament last year, so winning here is first prize, and first prize,” he said.

The 30-year-old celebrated his birthday just five days ago, further sweetening his victory.

A deserved win it was – he made no less than 10 points during each of his four rounds, the best of which was a superb 17-point second round.

On Saturday his nerves were put to the test over the stretch, because van Tonder matched him point-for-point and Botes loomed just one point behind. But Basson kept the ship steady, retaining his 50-point tally through to the winning putt.

“I had a couple of opportunities, which would have made my life a bit easier coming down 17 and 18, but I played solidly, and I’m very happy,” he said.

Van Tonder, a rookie on the Sunshine Tour, made a massive 21 points during the third round to make his way into the final three-ball on Saturday.

Four bogeys during the final round marred his chances, the last of which came at the par-five 17th. The 21-year-old will take far more than the R93,200 cheque away with him, and looks to have a bright future on the Sunshine Tour.

Botes led through the second and third rounds, but could not keep pace with Basson during the final 18. He made a five-foot clutch putt on the 18th, saving par and retaining his share of second place.

The 2012 Swazi Open champion was optimistic about his future now that this Swaziland win was under his belt, and said: “My immediate plan is to play the remainder of the Sunshine Tour season and then head to European Tour QSchool at the end of the year.”

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