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Lion-hearted Ahlers seals Golf Challenge slot

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It took five trips up the 18th on Sunday, and eventually Jaco Ahlers was able to pull off a sudden-death play-off victory over Ross McGowan to win the R1.5-million Lion of Africa Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.
Hennie Otto was also in that play-off, but he made bogey on the first play-off hole to fall out of contention.
It was an agonising miss from inside three feet on the fourth hole of the play-off from McGowan which gave Ahlers the victory – an especially valuable one for the big man from Centurion, as the victory gave him the last spot in next week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Ahlers and McGowan duking it out for the fifth time down the 18th seemed to be the right thing, after they each carded four-under-par 68 in regulation play. That was the best score by anybody on a day after the breeze picked up during the day, and only Jbe’ Kruger’s superb seven-under-par 65 was better on the day after he got away early enough to take advantage of a glorious start to the day.
In the end, Otto paid the price for a putter that simply wouldn’t co-operate – and he waved the offending implement in frustration at the television camera that was following him down the 18th fairway in regulation.
That was in contrast to the ironic gesture of triumph when he eventually made a birdie putt on 11 – and when he sank the 15-footer on 18 in regulation to force his way into the play-off.
In a share of fourth place were Kruger and Thomas Aiken, just one shot back from the lead.

Final scores
276 – Jaco Ahlers (RSA) 71 69 68 68
276 – Ross McGowan (ENG) 69 71 68 68, Hennie Otto (RSA) 66 67 71 72
277 – Jbe’ Kruger (RSA) 72 70 70 65, Thomas Aiken (RSA) 69 66 71 71
278 – David Drysdale (SCO) 70 69 68 71
279 – Ryan Tipping (RSA) 68 70 72 69, Tjaart van der Walt (RSA) 71 70 69 69, Justin Harding (RSA) 71 68 70 70, Danie van Tonder (RSA) 67 68 69 75
280 – Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 69 71 71 69, Justin Walters (RSA) 71 67 70 72
281 – Christiaan Basson (RSA) 72 69 71 69, Rhys Enoch (WAL) 68 71 71 71, Branden Grace (RSA) 75 64 71 71, Rhys West (RSA) 71 65 70 75
282 – Andrew Georgiou (RSA) 68 76 70 68, Peter Karmis (RSA) 70 72 70 70, Jean Hugo (RSA) 71 68 72 71,Merrick Bremner (RSA) 71 68 72 71, Dean Burmester (RSA) 71 69 71 71, David Frost (RSA) 71 71 69 71,Steven Ferreira (RSA) 70 73 68 71, Jake Redman (RSA) 69 67 73 73, Shaun Norris (RSA) 76 64 69 73,Jacques Blaauw (RSA) 72 68 68 74, Titch Moore (RSA) 67 68 72 75
283 – Michael Hollick (RSA) 67 70 76 70, Morne Buys (RSA) 74 69 70 70, JJ Senekal (RSA) 75 68 70 70, Alex Haindl (RSA) 73 71 68 71, Jack Harrison (ENG) 69 70 71 73, Vaughn Groenewald (RSA) 71 69 69 74, George Coetzee (RSA) 70 72 66 75
284 – Desvonde Botes (RSA) 73 69 72 70, Mark Williams (ZIM) 69 75 69 71, Brandon Stone (RSA) 67 71 74 72, Stuart Smith (BOT) 70 72 70 72, Ulrich van den Berg (RSA) 73 71 67 73, Adrian Ford (RSA) 67 72 71 74, Haydn Porteous (RSA) 72 70 67 75
285 – Pieter Moolman (RSA) 73 69 72 71, Darren Fichardt (RSA) 70 73 71 71, Jacques Kruyswijk (RSA) 75 66 69 75
286 – Neil Schietekat (RSA) 76 68 73 69, Lindani Ndwandwe (RSA) 71 73 72 70, Jeff Inglis (ENG) 67 77 72 70, Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM) 75 68 71 72, Tyrone Ferreira (RSA) 72 70 70 74
287 – Drikus Bruyns (RSA) 75 68 71 73, Omar Sandys (RSA) 67 73 71 76, Doug McGuigan (RSA) 70 72 68 77, Chris Swanepoel (RSA) 68 68 73 78
288 – Darryn Lloyd (RSA) 71 71 77 69, Keenan Davidse (RSA) 73 71 75 69, Lyle Rowe (RSA) 66 73 77 72, Shaun Smith (RSA) 75 69 72 72, Derik Ferreira (RSA) 69 73 72 74, Wallie Coetsee (RSA) 70 69 74 75, Andrew Curlewis (RSA) 69 71 69 79
289 – Derick Petersen (RSA) 70 72 75 72, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 70 74 72 73, Jared Harvey (RSA) 71 72 68 78
290 – Bryce Bibby (RSA) 73 69 74 74, Wynand Dingle (RSA) 71 72 73 74
291 – Le Roux Ferreira (RSA) 72 72 73 74
292 – Nic Henning (RSA) 68 75 75 74
293 – Desne van den Bergh (RSA) 73 71 73 76, Kevin Stone (RSA) 71 71 72 79
294 – Paul de Beer (RSA) 69 73 75 77


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