Birdie blitz earns Rhys Enoch second Sunshine Tour title
Elated winner admits ‘I really didn’t think I was that close to the lead’ as he takes the prize by one stroke
It was around 1.30pm on Sunday when Rhys Enoch’s wife, Lynn, sent him a text saying she was sorry but she couldn’t keep her eyes open and was going to have a Sunday nap, and that she hopes he finishes strong in the final round of the Kit Kat Group Pro-Am. He did. He went out and won.
Enoch birdied his final three holes, including a chip-in birdie from the bunker on 17, on the East Course to close with a 67 and win by one stroke on 12-under-par.
SA’s Dean Burmester had already finished in the clubhouse on 11-under-par with a 66, but Enoch had to endure watching Jake Redman stand over a 2m birdie putt on the last to force a playoff. Redman missed the putt to sign for a 72 and share second with Burmester.
“I fully expected Jake to make that putt. I’m sad for him that he missed, but obviously I’m delighted I came out on top,” said Enoch, who added to his 2018 Cape Town Open triumph on the Sunshine Tour.
“I’m over the moon. I really didn’t think I was that close to the lead. When we came up 18 with the leaderboard there, my caddie said to me: ‘Don’t look left. Just focus on your putt’. So I did and made the putt for birdie on 18. Then Jake unfortunately missed his and I’d won.”
With a fast start by the likes of Luke Brown and Redman, Enoch admits he didn’t think he was in the running for the title early in the final round.
“They all shot off to -14 and I was around -8 or -9, and I thought it might have slipped from me. Then I got to 15 and saw I was only two behind. But then I three-putted for bogey to be three behind with three to play. An then came those three birdies. This game is crazy and winning is not easy, but I managed to get over the line today.”
And one of the first things he did was text his delighted wife, with a photo of him and the trophy.
“This win is extremely satisfying. You know, it’s been really tough with this pandemic. It’s been wonderful to be at home and spend time with my wife and my son Carter. But at the same time it’s been stressful with my golf. It’s just feels great to win. This is like a confirmation of the hard work paying off. And to be able to win on a quality golf course like this makes it even sweeter.”
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