25th January 2020 | Sunshine Tour
Prinsloo, Ritchie claim second successive Team Champs title
JC Ritchie and Jaco Prinsloo made history on Saturday when they claimed the 2020 Gauteng Team Championship hosted by Dainfern, becoming the first team to defend this title since its inception in 2018.
They signed for a tournament total of 25-under-par 191 to claim a two-stroke victory over the team Jaco Ahlers and Vaughn Groenewald after rounds of 61, 68 and 62. Ritchie and Prinsloo came into the final round leading by a single stroke at 15-under-par. A bogey on the first hole marked a shaky start for the defending champions but what followed next was nothing short of spectacular.
“We are very chuffed to have defended this title,” said Ritchie, “I think we were expecting a little bit of a charge from the guys who were coming behind us. But we played brilliantly together as a team after a tough struggle at the start. But we are happy we managed to turn on the fireworks and bring it home.”
The bogey they made on the first hole was quickly forgotten as they made birdie on the next hole. Two pars later something clicked. Five consecutive birdies followed as they turned in 31 but that was not the end of it. A birdie on the 10th was quickly followed by an eagle on the 12th hole. Then birdies on the 17th and the 18th holes sealed the victory for Prinsloo and Ritchie.
“After a good stretch of holes bringing back a bad start, that eagle really settled us down, giving us a nice cushion to play the last six holes with,” continued Ritchie.
Prinsloo was equally ecstatic to become only the first team to successfully defend this title.
“The conditions today were similar to yesterday’s because we started with the umbrellas out because it was raining,” remarked Prinsloo, “it was tough but I just took a back seat and watched JC play the golf course the way it should be played. We are really happy with this win.”
The first round of this exciting tournament was a betterball format, the second round was foursomes while the final round was also a betterball.