Frenchman Clement Sordet birdied the first playoff hole to beat South Africa’s Ruan Conradie and claim the SDC Open hosted by Zebula Golf Estate and Spa on Sunday.
Sordet, who closed with a 67, and Conradie, who signed off with a 68, finished tied for the lead on 21 under par at the end of a thrilling final round in which the leaderboard changed several times.
Overnight leader Deon Germishuys held the lead over the turn and then relinquished it. England’s Marco Penge also had a share of the lead at one point. Conradie then had his turn to take control of the tournament. And Sordet hit the front before both he and Conradie were the last two left standing after 72 holes.
Playing the par-five 18th in the playoff, Sordet had exactly the same putt which he missed to win the title in regulation play, and this time made no mistake.
“It is really special. The past few years have been tough and it’s really nice to get a win here in South Africa,” said Sordet, who claimed his fifth Challenge Tour victory and his first win on the Sunshine Tour with this title.
“I felt pretty good for the playoff. I was playing well all day. I hit a good drive and had a chance to go for the green. Ruan laid up and I hit a three iron onto the green, and two-putted for the win. It was exactly the same putt which I missed in regulation play, so I knew the line.”
Sordet enjoyed the full African bushveld experience as he posed with his trophy against the backdrop of the local Zebula elephants on the 18th fairway.
“I’ve spent four weeks in different parts of South Africa. I love it. The wildlife is amazing,” he said.
Conradie took second place while fellow South African Deon Germishuys finished third on 20 under par.
The Sunshine Tour and Challenge Tour remain in Limpopo for this week’s Limpopo Championship.
By Michael Vlismas