Venter eases to victory at Waterkloof

Albert Venter entered the final round of the IG Tour #5 Chase to Waterkloof tied for the lead and carded a final-round three-under-par 69 to claim a one-stroke victory on 11-under-par 205 on Wednesday.

Having signed for a respectable 69 in round two to force himself into a five-way share of the lead on Tuesday, Venter knew the work that lay ahead for him to claim this title. A steady start to the round saw him making three straight pars before picking up an important birdie on the par-four fourth hole.

Two more pars later and an eagle found its way onto his card as he mounted his challenge. That joy was short-lived, however, because immediately after that eagle, back-to-back bogeys followed as he turned in 35. Pars on the 10th and 11th holes were followed by gutting drop on the 12th but Venter recovered swiftly making an eagle on the par-five 14th before making a birdie on the final hole to sign for a second successive 69 and claim his third IGT title.

“I set myself a target to try and get to -12 for the event starting today,” said the 24-year old Venter. “Was well on track until I hit a three-putt on eight and then dropped on nine! But I managed to keep my head in the game and not get ahead of myself and I think that got me over the line.

“The fairways played pretty firm and the whole golf course in general, so if you could manage to keep it in play you would have a shortish shot to the greens so I would say if you pitched and putted well this week, you were in with a shot.

“My game from 100 and in was pretty good this week. I managed to keep it in play most of the times and made the putts where I needed to, so I would say the short game part of this week was in pretty good shape.

“This week’s win will obviously have a good influence on confidence going onto next weeks Sunshine Tour event. But I think it’ll probably be the same game plan with trying to keep it in play and just trusting the short game to make a low number! So if I can keep it in play I’ll always have a shot.”

Sunshine Tour rookie Nikhil Rama, round one leader Vaughn van Deventer and amateur Christiaan Burke finished the tournament in a tie for the second spot just a shot behind Venter, at 10-under for the week. Among the top finishers this week were Sunshine Tour winners Toto Thimba and Heinrich Bruiners who shared the eighth spot with amateurs Gregg Gilson and number-one ranked amateur, Casey Jarvis, at seven-under.

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