Coetzee’s eagle on 14 sets up easy De Zalze win

Aug 6, 2021 | Featured, Sunshine Tour

George Coetzee fired a superb three-wood in to the par-five 14th at De Zalze Golf Club to inside four feet to make eagle there and set up his 12th Sunshine Tour victory in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event there.

His closing three-under-par 69 included that eagle, two birdies and a bogey as he also claimed his fourth title on the Vodacom Origins of Golf series after his maiden professional victory came at the Selborne event way back in June 2007.

“I’m very grateful to that three-wood,” he said afterwards of that shot in to 14. “I don’t often say, ‘Be the club!’ but this time I did, and it was right.”

He made the eagle putt, and it took off any pressure he may have felt going down the stretch from Jaco Ahlers and Tristen Strydom, who finished in a share of second after they did their best with rounds of 66 and 67 respectively. As good as those scores were, Coetzee with a three-shot lead going into the final round with the bit between his teeth for a start-to finish victory is always going to be tough to catch.

“I thought about wire-to-wire on the first tee today,” he said, “and I knew I hadn’t done that since I won in Simola in 2019. That was the target, I didn’t want to verbalise it, but inside myself I thought it would be good to keep leading.”

Although he was quick to laugh off this win as an indication that his stated intention to cut down on travel and become more selective in his tournament play, the win was certainly emphatic enough, and it looked relaxed enough, for it to perhaps herald a fruitful period for the man currently ranked 119 in the world.

“It’s not an indication of anything yet – sometimes, I just play crap,” laughed Coetzee. “It’s weird how it works. I guess we learn and we carry on and we try and figure things out. We try and find what’s best for our game. My family always tells me I have to play one just to get loose, so it’s nice to get a win just before I go out on tour or just after a long break.”

Behind Ahlers and Strydom, in a share of fourth, there was a gathering of six players on 11-under for the tournament, seven shots behind Coetzee. Such was his dominance. Perhaps that should be the measure of the winner’s approach – whether it’s strategy or not.

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