Kruyswijk pulls off 2nd Sunshine Tour title with Centurion victory

Jacques Kruyswijk once won the club championship at Centurion Country Club, and on Friday he pulled off his second Sunshine Tour victory when he took the Sunshine Tour Invitational there after a closing five-under-par 67.

“It’s unbelievable to win the title at my home club,” he said. “I’ve been here for 11 years now, and I used to work here. I’ve played professional events here in the past and I haven’t got it done. There’s a little bit of added pressure when it comes to playing at your home course, but having the support that I’ve had over the past few days has been unbelievable.”

He had to work hard to fend off the challenge posed by Albert Venter, who carded a final-round one-under-par 71, which was just not enough for him to clinch his maiden Sunshine Tour title and not in the same ballpark as his second round of 10-under-par 62. In the end, Venter’s closing Bogey gave Kruyswijk the one-stroke victory with his tournament total of 18-under-par.

“It was a real battle today,” said Kruyswijk. “Albert and Jaco van Zyl are two fantastic players, and Albert played such good golf today. He put a lot of pressure on me. I wanted to be the one to try and put pressure on him the whole day, and I just managed to keep it together there at the end.”

In fact, Venter put too much of a draw on his final tee shot on the 18th as he attempted to put his drive as close to the green as possible, and, when he found the water on the left of the fairway, it was advantage Kruyswijk with first-round leader Michael Palmer sitting in the clubhouse on 17-under after a closing six-under 66, and Van Zyl in 16-under.

“It was unfortunate what happened on the last hole with Albert,” said Kruyswijk, “but with that being said, he still played some great golf.”

Kruywijk’s maiden victory happened back in 2016 when he won the Cape Town Open, and he has been trying hard to add another to his resume while campaigning on the European Tour and the Challenge Tour too. “It’s massive, you know,” said Kruyswijk. “It would be impossible to thank all the people I should thank. My family and friends have been instrumental in carrying me through these last few years. To be holding a trophy again feels fantastic, and it’s a combination of a lot of hard work and a lot of people who have pulled together.”

For Kruyswijk, this win validated a lot of what has been a difficult but a good year. He has five 10s on the European Tour and wants more than anything to win on that circuit. “It’s been an unbelievable year,” he said. “I hope this is the start of big things and I hope I can start lifting some big trophies overseas.”

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