Jason Froneman took his second play-off win of the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour season on Wednesday when he won the Chase to the Sunshine Tour #27 at Crown Mines Golf Club on the first hole of a three-way sudden-death shootout.
Froneman carded a two-under 70 in regulation play in the final round, and that gave him a share of the lead with amateur Warwick Purchase and Adriel Poonan. Purchase had rocketed into contention with his closing 10-under 62, while Poonan had closed with a 66.
“There are easier ways to win a tournament,” laughed Froneman afterwards. “It was pretty nerve-wracking, but I drew on my memories of my play-off win at Silverlakes.”
In the end, as the three players came down the 18th for the second time on the final day, Froneman managed to get up and down for his par, while Purchase and Poonan both missed their par putts to give Froneman the win which he had been anticipating after taking the 36-hole lead.
What was a four-stroke lead finished up with the play-off, largely thanks to the four bogeys Froneman made during the final round after having gone bogey-free for the entire first two rounds. He started well enough with birdies on three and four, but he dropped both those shots immediately on five and six.
Five more birdies between the seventh and the 12th were largely nullified by two more bogeys on 11 and 13, but he kept things together to come home from there in level-par and force the play-off.
“I was a little nervous during the final round,” said Froneman, “and I definitely felt the pressure. I was frustrated with what I was doing, making those bogeys. It was unfortunate, but everyone was making bogeys, so I just stuck to my task. Fortunately, I was putting well.”
Behind Purchase and Poonan, State Mines local Casey Jarvis also battled to get things going in the final round as he signed for a four-under-par 68 which was only enough for a solid fourth-place. Four players – Makhetha Mazibuko, amateur Samuel Simpson, Sweden’s Fredrik From and Kyle McClatchie finished in a share of fifth, four shots off the lead.
For Froneman, the victory gives him a much-needed boost in his quest to regain his Sunshine Tour card. “My golf is in a good space right now,” he said. “I need to keep inside the top three of this series to get my card, and, to do that, I need to make sure I can finish things off when they get tight like they did today.”