Peter Karmis shot an inspired three-under-par 69 final round to win the Investec Royal Swazi Open with 49 points at the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club on Saturday.
Rounds of 67-70-62 and 69 earned him enough points to deliver him a second title in less than ten months when he won the Sun Sibaya Challenge. This victory could not have come at a better place than Royal Swazi. Karmis won twice on this course before in a different event and such is his love for Swaziland.
â€œIâ€™m extremely excited and relieved at the same time,â€ he said after the win. â€œIt was very stressful but we obviously play for that stress. We donâ€™t play golf to have it easy; itâ€™s supposed to be difficult. But I am very pleased to come out of it with a victory.â€
And it was not easy because for a moment there American Zach Byrd seemed to have clinched it when he overtook Herman Loubser on the scoreboard while Lyle Roweâ€™s shot on 17 almost landed in for albatross. Had that happened, Karmisâ€™ chance of winning here would have vanished in thin air.
â€œThat was an awesome shot,â€ he said of Roweâ€™s shot. â€œIt was magnificent honestly. When I saw it land I thought it was in but the crowd gave it away that it wasnâ€™t.â€
He admits though that like many other events heâ€™s won, this was a team effort between himself and his caddie. â€œHe gives me the lines the whole time,â€ Karmis said. â€œI literally donâ€™t hit a putt without him giving me the line. Heâ€™s been on my bag for a while. At Sibaya we won together.â€
On 48 points was the duo of Byrd and Rowe while Loubser and Ruan de Smidt shared fourth spot, three points behind Karmis. Merrick Bremner and Jared Harvey also looked like they were in with a shot but eventually had to settle in sixth position on 45 points. Sharing eighth spot were Erik van Rooyen, last year’s Rookie of the YearÂ Christiaan Bezuidenhout and George Coetzee with all players sitting on 43 points.
On the ladiesâ€™ front, Ashley Buhai showed some resilience en route to winning the womenâ€™s tournament. Having landed on Tuesday from the United States for this event, she had to battle jetlag, fatigue and a strong field to claim success this week. However, a comfortable 15 points meant she was clear of second-placed Nobuhle Dlamini while she finished 10 points clear of third-placed Nicole Garcia.
â€œI got the job done so Iâ€™m really pleased with the results,â€ she said. â€œI swung it really good the last three days but as the week went on I felt a little bit tired but I dug deep to finish birdie-birdie.â€
She will now be heading to the States where she will compete in the Ladies PGA Tour for the months ahead.