“I knew I was in the lead, but I didn’t know I had won it until I made the putt at 16. It was tough to keep my focus going over the last two holes, but I played fantastically well today,” he said.
The 38-year-old began the day one shot behind the lead, but peppered his card with seven birdies for a 15-under-par total, which was five strokes less than runners-up Titch Moore and Hennie Otto.
“Hennie is one of the hardest competitors we have,” said van den Berg. “He never quits and to beat him is a real feather in my cap, especially to do it on the stretch.”
The Sunninghill resident’s last victory came at Vodacom Origins of Golf Humewood in 2010. Over the last three years he’s come close many times, but the win has eluded him enough times for doubt to creep in.
“I’ve been playing well for a long time, but after a few years you start to doubt whether you’ll be able to win again. Today has restored so much of my belief in myself,” said the father of two.
The Sunninghill local stood head and shoulders above his competitors on Sunday. Hearts sank when his six-foot putt for par lipped out at the fifth, but the big man was not going down without a fight.
He responded to the bogey in style, rattling off four consecutive birdies from the sixth to the ninth to reach the turn at 13-under-par.
“On number five I had an ugly putt, but I just took it in my stride and then hit it to give at the sixth for a birdie. That got me going again,” he smiled.
Van den Berg continued to hit it close on the back nine and by the 13th was scoring again. He made birdie there and again at the 14th and 16th for a six-shot lead with two holes to play.
A drop at the 17th did little to disturb the Sunshine Tour veteran and he went on to par the last and claim his seventh career title at a course that will host the South African Open Championship in a month’s time.
“Glendower is our gem in Joburg,” he said. “This is my favourite course up here and I’m looking forward to the SA Open, especially after this win!”