Jaco cruises to big Sunshine Tour win

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Jaco van Zyl crushed the opposition with nine birdies in his final round of the Sunshine Tour’s Samsung Royal Swazi Sun Open.

Jaco van Zyl crushed the opposition with nine birdies in his final round of the Samsung Royal Swazi Sun Open played on the par-72 Royal Swazi Spa Country Club course.
He finished on 65 points, with Zimbabwe’s TC Charamba and Tyrone van Aswegen sharing second on 53.
The tournament was played in a Modified Stableford format, in which players earn eight points for an albatross, five for an eagle, and two for a birdie and pars count for nothing, but one point is deducted per bogey and three for a double bogey or worse.
But had it been played as a strokeplay event, he would have finished on 31-under par, having made just three bogeys all week – two in the second round and one in the third.
Van Zyl’s dominating win marked a change of gear for his game: “My last couple of wins have always been a grind towards the end, and I have managed to pull it through by one, or win in a playoff, or with a 20-foot putt on the last,” he said.
“I’ve always wondered what if it went the other way. So this was the first really convincing win and it really is a good feeling,” he added.
It was a measure of his dominance that he was able to win as convincingly without managing a single eagle during the four days, while all his rivals had one or more on their scorecards.
Van Zyl’s game was about relentless consistency, and making sure he grabbed every single birdie opportunity that came his way.
And that consistency is a result of a change in his work ethic: “I’m making a point of being in the gym every day, being out on the range, working on the short game,” he said. “Now, if I get over a shot, I know I have been working on it for a lot of hours, whereas before, I’d much rather go hang-gliding or fly model aeroplanes and just pitch up at the tournament and play.”
He demoralised the opposition early one, with three birdies in first four holes, and five in opening nine, before easing home with four more on the way in, including an almost ceremonial eight-footer on the par-13 18th to entertain the spectators.
Titch Moore finished in fourth on 47 points, while Tyrone Ferreira was fifth on 46.
Van Zyl is not going to take his eye off the ball now: His main focus is still to play the European Tour School at the end of the year and earn his card there.
In the meantime, he remembers only too keenly how he missed the cut in last week’s Sunshine Tour event at Prince’s Grant in KwaZulu-Natal: “This game bites you as soon as you think you’re on top. It was the first cut I missed in years. So I have to come out again next week and do my best and compete.”
Right now, South African pros are scratching their heads and wondering how they’ll stop him.
All the final-round scores and totals from the Sunshine Tour’s Samsung Royal Swazi Open.
(Rsa unless stated, 72):
Modified stableford:

65 Jaco Van Zyl 14 18 15 18
53 TC Charamba (Zim) 12 10 21 10, Tyrone van Aswegen 11 16 17 9
47 Titch Moore 4 22 16 5
46 Tyrone Ferreira 9 12 9 16
45 Theunis Spangenberg 15 13 4 13, Josh Cunliffe 4 12 19 10
44 Oliver Bekker 6 12 13 13
43 Grant Muller 7 8 13 15, Charl Coetzee 7 8 15 13, Shaun Norris 15 10 8 10, Jean Hugo 10 10 16 7
42 Trevor Fisher Jnr 11 10 8 13
40 Dean Lambert 12 9 14 5
37 Jake Roos 14 5 9 9
36 Louis de Jager 7 10 13 6
35 Willie van der Merwe 0 11 15 9, Warren Abery 7 8 10 10
34 Christiaan Basson 5 11 6 12
33 George Coetzee 11 10 8 4, Neil Schietekat 13 7 10 3
32 Jbe’ Kruger 11 11 1 9, Wallie Coetsee 2 13 8 9
31 Merrick Bremner 8 7 10 6, Chris Williams 2 7 14 8
30 Adilson da Silva (Bra) 5 4 7 14, Keenan Davidse 12 4 13 1, Albert Pistorius 3 14 8 5
29 Darren Fichardt 8 9 5 7
27 Prinavin Nelson -1 12 10 6
26 Desvonde Botes 9 6 5 6
25 Hendrik Buhrmann 0 11 6 8, James Kamte 3 6 8 8, Don Black 9 4 7 5, Heinrich Bruiners 7 5 8 5
24 Brandon Pieters -3 15 8 4, Chris Swanepoel 13 3 6 2, Louis Moolman 9 3 10 2, Darren Holder 12 11 3 -2, Reggie Adams 3 6 15 0
23 Ross Wellington 7 4 6 6, Michiel Bothma 10 3 7 3
22 Keith Horne 3 6 6 7, Ryan Cairns (Zim) 9 3 8 2, Neil Cheetham (Eng) 11 4 9 -2
21 Brett Liddle 9 4 5 3, Stuart Clark (Wal) -1 12 12 -2
19 Darryn Lloyd 10 4 3 2
17 Peter Karmis 3 7 6 1, Omar Sandys 3 13 3 -2
16 Andre Cruse 4 6 5 1, Eugen Marugi 6 3 11 -4
15 Andrew Curlewis 6 14 -3 -2
13 Thabang Simon 3 8 1 1, Alain Norris 7 5 5 -4
12 Meshack Zwane (Swa) 6 3 1 2
10 Doug McGuigan 13 -4 2 -1

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