• Strydom breaks drought at Sishen

    Ockie Strydom
    First win!

    Ockie Strydom finally claimed his first win – after 11 runner-up finishes – and by some distance as he romped home at the R1-million Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Sishen Golf Club.

    Strydom carded a bogey-free 66 – the best round of the day – to prove to himself beyond doubt that he was a winner.

    Thriston Lawrence, who is starting to pick up a string of runner-up finishes himself, signed for a five-under 67 for second, while Riekus Nortje, Michael Palmer, Luke Jerling and Chris Swanepoel shared third on eight under for the tournament.

    ‘When I walked towards the green on 18, I was still in the mode of getting the job finished,’ said Strydom. ‘When I got to the green, I started getting goose bumps. I just told myself to take deep breaths, read the putt and see if I could make it – and it went in.’

    That putt, like much of his game throughout the tournament, typified his dominance.

    ‘My putting this week was the key to the success,’ he said. ‘I made some crucial putts. I also didn’t hit much driver, just 3-iron, 3-wood down the fairway, hit it on the green and two-putted. I just made sure I secured the par and I believed birdies would come.

    ‘I kept myself calm throughout the week, and I ended up making just two drops. Paul [Keyser], my caddie, just kept talking to me, kept my mind off everything, and then it just happened. That restraint is very tough for me, but Paul kept on telling me to stick to the game plan.

    ‘To keep the momentum up, there were a few saves that I had to make for par. And then I made a good birdie on 15 today: I made it up and down from the left. I almost hit it over the green and made that putt.’

    Lawrence made a concerted charge at Strydom, with six birdies not quite enough to negate a tough second round of only one-under-par 71. Then a bogey on the final hole after a drive pulled to the left, left Strydom with little to no pressure as he came up 18.

    Nortje and Palmer each carded four-under 66s, Jerling a 69, and Swanepoel battle his way to a one-under 71.

    For Strydom, the immediate task is to get used to being a winner.

    ‘I don’t know how it feels yet,’ he said. ‘It’s going to sink in some time – I don’t know if it will be now, or tomorrow on my way back home, but it’s a great feeling. I’ve been knocking on the door for quite a while.’

    The knocking is over, and, now that he’s in the door, he can gain a degree of redemption for those 11 runner-up spots.

    ‘My confidence is sky-high now,’ he said. ‘I’ve been working hard and my results are rewarding me for that work – and I’m in for the Mauritius Open now, and I can book a plane ticket in advance, for a change!’

    Final leaderboard

    200 – Ockie Strydom 69 65 66

    206 – Thriston Lawrence 68 71 67

    208 – Riekus Nortje 71 69 68, Michael Palmer 70 70 68, Luke Jerling 70 69 69, Chris Swanepoel 69 68 71

    209 – Neil Schietekat 73 67 69

    210 – Estiaan Conradie 71 73 66, Hennie Otto 71 70 69

    211 – Stefan Wears-Taylor 70 73 68, Herman Loubser 69 72 70, Philip Geerts 73 67 71, Trevor Fisher Jnr 71 67 73

    212 – Rhys West 72 72 68, Jared Harvey 75 69 68, Hendrikus Stoop 72 71 69, Michael Hollick 68 74 70, Yubin Jung 71 70 71, Alex Haindl 72 69 71, Daniel van Tonder 70 70 72

    213 – Keenan Davidse 69 75 69, Dylan Naidoo 74 70 69, Erhard Lambrechts 71 72 70, Jacques Blaauw 72 71 70, Louis Albertse 69 73 71, Victor Lange 71 67 75

    214 – Jake Roos 72 71 71, Deon Germishuys 75 66 73, Toto Thimba 72 68 74

    215 – Heinrich Bruiners 73 71 71, Jean Hugo 73 70 72, Ryan Tipping 68 74 73, CJ du Plessis 71 70 74, Stephen Ferreira 71 68 76

    216 – Doug McGuigan 73 71 72, Titch Moore 72 72 72, MJ Viljoen 71 72 73, Thato Mazibuko 70 72 74

    217 – Clinton Grobler 73 69 75

    218 – Vaughn Groenewald 69 75 74, DK Kim 71 73 74

    219 – Lyle Rowe 71 73 75, Ruan Botha 73 71 75, Allister de Kock 70 73 76

    220 – Madalitso Muthiya 69 75 76, Anton Haig 70 73 77

    221 – James Hart du Preez 71 73 77, Kyle McClatchie 73 71 77, Juran Dreyer 73 70 78

    222 – Jonathan Waschefort 70 74 78

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