19th May 2019 | Sunshine Tour
Redman breaks title duck with Swazi victory
It took Jake Redman nearly 10 years to get his maiden Sunshine Tour victory, and he pulled it off in a thriller with a one-stroke win on Sunday in the Lombard Insurance Classic at Royal Swazi Spa Country Club.
He carded a final round of five-under-par 67, with a nervy closing nine which included his only bogey of the round, on his way to the win over the charging pair of Toto Thimba and Thriston Lawrence. They each signed for seven-under 65, which left them on 19-under for the tournament and just one shot adrift.
“I don’t really have many words,” said Redman. “I’m over the moon. It’s taken a hell of a long time. I’ve had a few seconds along the way, a few heartache moments and to eventually come out and win really feels great.
“There’s been a lot of hard work, endless support from my wife and my mom and dad. It’s unbelievable what I’ve gone through. I almost gave up, and now I got here to win.”
It was a win which improved on his runner-up finish in the 2014 edition of the tournament, and it was one which was achieved with and enormous amount of pressure being applied by a lot of the players around him – there was a 63 from Keenan Davidse who finished fifth, a pair of early 64s from Jake Roos and Daniel van Tonder, and the 66 from Ruan Conradie who finished fourth.
“With the pressure, it helped playing with Doug Mcguigan,” said Redman of his playing partner who finished in a share of sixth. “He’s such a relaxed character and I just tried to keep myself calm, because sometimes you can get stuck in the moment and put a lot more pressure on yourself.”
The pressure showed during his homeward nine, as he made three consecutive pars and then dropped a shot to fall back into the clutches of his pursuers. “I made a silly bogey on 13, and I thought to myself that I needed to get it to 20-under coming in to have a good chance,” he said. “I hit some good shots coming in and I hit some good putts that didn’t go in, but I made some that did go in. To finish with a great drive on 17 which set up a birdie and to close it off with a par on 18 – I’m just really happy.”
In a week where he carded rounds of seven-under and eight-under in the lead up to his final round, there was clearly a lot bout his game that was working well. But his putting stood out. “I made a lot of good putts, a lot of clutch putts, especially coming in,” he said. “I made a real clutch putt on 15 for birdie. I made a lot of nice lengthy putts outside 15 feet. I was really solid on the greens.
“Everything else was solid, apart from my driving. So it was really nice to get that one away on 17. I just thought, if I am going to hit a good one, it needs to be here, because it really sets up the hole. I could see the leaderboard was really tight and I needed a birdie. I absolutely cracked one down the middle.”
He made the birdie there with two putts, and then another two on the par-three 18th set up the win that was so long in coming.
“I’m really happy to get the money off my back, just to prove that I can do it with guys on this tour that are really good,” he said.