Joy for Korb as he wins Time Square Casino Challenge

Ruan Korb held on and made a birdie on the final hole on Friday to edge into the lead and take his maiden victory on the Sunshine Tour in the Time Square Casino Challenge at Wingate Park Country Club.

He held a two-stroke edge going into the final round, and made an eagle, four birdies and four bogeys on his way to 15-under for the 54-hole tournament and a one-stroke win over Anton Haig. First-round leader Deon Germishuys and Jake Redman shared third a further two shots back on 12-under.

“I saw a leaderboard when I left the 17th green,” said Korb, “and I saw that Haigy had finished on 14-under, so I knew what I had to do. I hit a bomb of a drive down the left side of the fairway, which left a tree in my way for my approach on the par-five. I had to work around the tree, starting the ball on the edge of the hazard. But it stayed straight, and landed in the fringe to the right. I played a little bump-and-run with my gap wedge and made the six-foot putt.”

It was a day on which his putting wasn’t as good as it had been in the second round when he made everything inside 10 feet on his way to a 64. “It wasn’t as solid,” he said. “I think the nerves caught me a bit, and I pushed quite a few putts. But I did make a 25-footer for birdie on eight, and a 30-footer for eagle on 15.”

That eagle on 15 was critical, because, ahead of him, Haig had made eagle there too. “As I walked on to the green, I saw on the scoreboard that Haigy was on 15-under, and I knew I had to do something,” said Korb. “I had a long putt, and, as I made it, I knew it had to hit the flag stick or it was going to run a long way past. It hit the stick dead centre and went in the hole.”

For Korb, the win couldn’t have come at a better time. He was not exempt into the Joburg Open, a European Tour co-sanctioned event, which gets underway at Randpark in just under two weeks, or the other two European Tour events in the following two weeks – the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek and the South African Open Championship at Sun City.

“I could almost think of nothing else during the final round today,” said Korb after his victory gained him entry into all three of those. “Now I don’t have to try and pre-qualify for them, and I can go into them full of confidence after the win.”

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