By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA –
MADALITSO Muthiya yesterday pocked a whopping K300, 000 (SAR350,218.75) after finishing in joint seventh place at the South Africa Open golf tournament played at the Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg.
Muthiya finished with a four-round total of nine-under-par 275 with that score blighted by a last round two-over-par 73.
That two-over from yesterday was his worst round at the tournament in which he was second on the opening three rounds.
He started the tournament with a nine-under-par 63 before he picked up two more shots on the second day to be among the front runners for the big payout.
But in the third round, Muthiya played par to stay in joint second on 11-under, which was three shots off day-three leader Louis Oosthuizen, who eventually won the tournament with nine shots better than Muthiya.
Muthiya would curse the last round nerves which saw him post a double-bogey, four bogeys and recovered only with four birdies to go two-over and slide down the leader board.
He started yesterday in the worst possible way as he bogeyed on the very first hole and after playing par on the next, another bogey was on his scorecard on the third to fear the worst for the day.
But the Zambian star golfer responded with two straight birdies to get back to 11-under before playing par on the rest of the holes on the front nine.
If the front nine gave Muthiya a bad start, the back nine gave him a worse reception as he started with a double bogey, his fourth double bogey of the tournament having registered two in the third round.
He played par on the next two holes before another bogey came to haunt him on the 13th to go three over for the day and down to eight-under for the whole tournament.
Two immediate straight birdies brought him back into the limelight of those in the running for a bigger pay out but a bogey on the last hole meant he had to settle for joint seventh.
This is his biggest payout on the sunshine tour.