March 26 (Reuters) – Daniel van Tonder won his first European Tour title with a nail-biting playoff victory over Jazz Janewattananond at the Savannah Classic on Friday as overnight leader Justin Harding failed to clinch his second title in a week in Nairobi.
Van Tonder carded 64 in the final round with a monster birdie putt from the edge of the 18th green to finish at 21-under overall while Thailand’s Jazz missed his birdie putt to finish level with the South African.
Both missed birdie putts on the first playoff hole — with Van Tonder going agonisingly close as his ball lipped out — while Jazz made a putt under pressure in the second to force the pair to return to the 18th tee once again.
However, Van Tonder kept his nerve in the third playoff hole at the Karen County Club after Jazz finished on par, securing victory with a birdie before hugging his wife and caddie Abigail.
“I’m overwhelmed, very happy. Me and my wife have been a good team winning together,” Van Tonder, who has seven wins on South Africa’s Sunshine Tour, said.
“If it wasn’t for the Sunshine Tour, I don’t think we would have done this.”
Harding, who won the Kenya Open on Sunday, had a three-shot lead going into the final round but quickly fell behind with three bogeys and a double bogey on the 18th to finish tied for 14th, six shots behind the pair.
Scotland’s Calum Hill nearly emerged as a contender in the latter stages after eight birdies but a bogey on the 18th dropped him out of contention and he finished one shot behind, tied with Englishman Sam Horsfield. (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Click For Restrictions – https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html