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Takudzwa Chitsiga, Harare Bureau
SOUTH African golfers continued to dominate the Zimbabwe Golf Open when JC Ritchie emerged from the shadows to win this year’s edition on the second play-off hole in a dramatic duel against Trevor Fisher Jnr at Royal Harare Golf Club.
Ritchie stormed from a tough start to romp home to victory.
“I actually started off the week quite rough. I was seven-over-par after seven holes. I made that eagle-two on the ninth and that’s where it turned around for me,” said Ritchie.
He sealed the dramatic win with a right to left 13-foot putt on the 18th green, which showcased his imperious putting display during the week.
“That was unreal golf. I really enjoyed it and never really felt like I was out of contention. It was one of the best putting displays I’ve had in my entire life,” he said.
Fisher started his final round strongly but three bogeys in a row at the turn saw his three-shot lead disappear.
An eagle at the par-five 16th saw him shoot back into a two-shot lead, but a double-bogey on the 17th paved the way for a play-off with Ritchie.
“I felt last night that 63 today would definitely win by one. I didn’t expect Fisher to make double on the 17th, he was playing unreal golf.
“When I got onto the 15th tee box I knew I needed three more [birdies]. I hit an unreal second shot into 16 and lipped out for eagle,” Ritchie said.
The win is his first on the Sunshine Tour.