An 8-iron into the 18th that he described as ‘a miracle shot’ helped Rhys Enoch claim the Cape Town Open presented by Sun International at King David Mowbray, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
A bogey at the 17th saw the Welshman stand on the final tee box one behind long-time leader Peter Karmis, but the battle was far from over.
Enoch wisely pulled his driving iron out and found the very edge of the right fairway before producing the shot of the day. The 29-year-old, perhaps calm due to walking with James Kingston on Sunday, hit an 8-iron to three feet and made no mistake to retake a share of the lead.
His race was run as he was left to watch behind the swollen gallery on the 72nd hole as Karmis made an error from the tee. He punched out to short of the green, leaving himself a devilish up and down to stay in the tournament that he led from round one courtesy of his 63.
The pin, sitting atop a slope that leaked downhill to the back of the green, would test everything in Karmis’ shortgame. And the groans were audible as his pitch failed to check and ran down to 12 feet.
The Cape local tried valiantly to force proceedings to extra holes, but his putt stayed up on the left, leaving Enoch to be swamped by youngsters with cameras and requests for selfies.
All that action came within 30 minutes after the first 11 holes played out sedately. None of the chasing pack could muster a charge even if the likes of Keenan Davidse, Colin Nel and JC Ritchie started bright enough.
Ritchie’s bid ended in all seriousness when he three-putted from close range on the drivable par-four 11th hole while Davidse’s 69 – good for a share of third with Ritchie – was enough to put any real pressure on Karmis.
The pressure would be applied by Karmis himself.
A drop on the par-four 12th was followed by a double on the short hole that followed, leaving his lead at just three.
Enoch then burst into the frame despite being four behind with seven to play. Four became two when he eagled the 14th after a massive drive was backed up by a wedge. That gain was coupled with Karmis’ wobble and the duo were sent to battle it out down the stretch.
A fist bump from Enoch after saving par on the 16th was the sign that he knew his first big Sunshine Tour win was in the pipeline. It almost evaded him as he failed to get up and down for par on the 17th. All that drama was just a mere hint of what was to come on the last hole.
That 8-iron will live long in the Cardiff golfer’s memory as will the tidy paycheck of R237,750 that accompanies the win.
Photo: Petri Oeschger/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images
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