By SANDRA MWILA at Lusaka Golf Club –
SOUTH African JJ Senekal yesterday won the 2018 Zanaco Masters golf tournament in dramatic fashion after it ended in an unprecedented four-way tie and forced a play-off.
For his effort in outclassing three other South Africans, SenekalpocketedR317,000 (about K250, 000).
Senekal finished on 14-under-par 274, together with Andre Decker,Jaco Ahlers and Alex Haindlbefore he outclassed the trio in a play-off.
The four were sent to play-off on the par-five 18th hole which saw Decker and Haindl play par to fall-off as the other two birdied to get back to the tee.
They first equalled in the first play-off to get back to the tee and it had to take something out of the ordinary to grab the top prize as Senekal eagled to see off Ahlers’ competition.
The extra-ordinary feat came with the help of the spectator who was hit by a straying ball that got re-directed into the bunker and closer to the pin.
After winning the title, Senekal went onto to thank the spectator and gave him his gloves.
Before the play-off, Senekal played to a four-under-par 68 after firing five birdies-two on the front nine and the rest on the backline- and bogeyed the 13th.
Senekal promised to return to this course next year to defend the Zanaco Masters.
He said the competition was tough and that Ahlers gave him a good run as they battled in the play-off.
“I’ll definitely come back next year to defend the title. I like it here and it’s always good to come back.Last year I finished in seventh position,” he said.
He further thanked the sponsors Zanaco and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for putting together a good tournament.
Ahlers made a strong come-back on the last day to join the play-off after struggling badly on the front nine where he had three bogeys but all that was cancelled by an overall seven birdies on the day.
It was a sad day for Haindl who looked set to win the tournament having led the previous two rounds and did not last long in the play-offs.
Haindl sunk an eagle on the par-four second hole and added five birdies to that but a bogey and a double-bogey on hole 16 meant he was joined by three other at the top.
Meanwhile Zambian golfers failed to shine at the tournament with Madalitso Muthiya having an inconsistent performance all week.
Muthiya finished the tournament at level-par 288 after posting a one-over-par 73 on the final day where he brought home three birdies,two bogeys and a double-bogey on hole 12.
The other Zambian Dayne Moore finished with an overall 11-over-par 299 after finishing a two-over yesterday.
Moore carded five birdies, five bogeys and a double-bogey on hole-five.