Sunshine Tour Robson Chinhoi

Another great performance on the Sunshine Tour. Image: Sunshine Tour website

Zimbabwean star wins Sunshine Tour event

Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi clinched his first Sunshine Tour win when he won the Zanaco Masters at Lusaka Golf Club

Sunshine Tour Robson Chinhoi

Another great performance on the Sunshine Tour. Image: Sunshine Tour website

Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi has won a couple of times on the Safari Tour, but on Sunday he clinched his first title of global significance when he won the Zanaco Masters at Lusaka Golf Club in a playoff over Neil Schietekat, in just his 11th Sunshine Tour start.

Chinhoi, who began the day two shots off the lead, put himself in contention by collecting two birdies in a bogey-free front nine, and then claimed the lead with three more birdies on the back nine, before a pulled drive saw him bogey the 17th and then only make par on the par-five final hole, leaving him with a 68 for 17-under-par for the tournament.

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Schietekat nearly wins again on the Sunshine Tour

That was enough to get him into a playoff though, with Schietekat, the winner of the previous event on the Sunshine Tour, the FBC Zimbabwe Open a fortnight ago. Sunshine Tour winner Schietekat was six-under for his final round through 13 holes, roaring up the leaderboard, but he then made a crucial bogey on the par-four 14th hole and then could only par his way in to the clubhouse.

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The pair played the 515-metre 18th hole again in the playoff and the 32-year-old Chinhoi produced an excellent tee-shot that left him 207 metres from the green. From there he hit a seven-iron short of the green, made sure he left his chip below the hole on the hard green, and calmly slotted a five-foot putt for birdie to claim the title, as the experienced Schietekat could only make par.

Chinhoi On the map

“I am just so grateful, I thank God, for this victory because it puts my name on the map,” a delighted Chinhoi said. “This win will be life and game-changing for me. I was getting tired of being in my comfort zone, I wanted to go away and play at another level. I managed to lift my game and this week has changed everything.”

While new Sunshine Tour winner Chinhoi was superb off the tee on Sunday, he putted with computer-like accuracy under the pressure of the final round and a large crowd of contenders.

Young Ryan van Velzen birdied the 18th hole to finish with the clubhouse lead on 16-under and then faced an anxious wait, but Chinhoi and Schietekat did not drop any further strokes, leaving the 21-year-old alone in third place.

Sunshine Tour star Stefan Wears-Taylor was also in contention but then bogeyed the last to post a 69 that left him on 15-under, a score matched by Sean Bradley, who had reached 16-under by the 10th hole, but then had seven straight pars and a bogey to finish.

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Rupert Kaminski (65) and Trevor Fisher Jnr (66) were the other golfers to share fourth place on 15-under-par.

Neil Schietekat
Neil Schietekat is in form. Image: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

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