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Sport24.co.za | Ahlers wins Zambia Open



Cape Town –
Jaco Ahlers won his fourth Sunshine Tour title at the KCM Zambia Open in
dramatic fashion, overcoming Jacques Baauw on the second play-off hole at
Nchanga Golf Club.

“I can’t really describe the emotions
right now. I’ve had my fair share of play-offs and I’m glad I could get his one
done as well,” he said. 

Ahlers started the final day two shots
ahead of Blaauw, however a late charge of four birdies on the back nine from
Blaauw saw the two players head down the 18th to decide the
winner, both on 17-under-par for the tournament. 

Both players made gutsy birdies on the
first extra hole, however an uncharacteristic error from Blaauw saw him
overshoot the green with his approach shot on the second extra play-off hole.
Unable to get up and down, Ahlers lagged a first putt up to the hole for a
tap-in par.

“The emotions definitely crept up in the
play-off. After I hit my second I didn’t really think I had a chance because
Jacques has hit a few good chips from that distance. It worked out in my
favour. You know he played well, we all played well this week. Well done to him
as well and it’s been a good week,” explained Ahlers. 

Since moving down to Geroge and starting a
family, Ahlers has changed his mental approach to the game, and it’s a more
relaxed approach that he says is paying off. 

“I think it’ll sink in when I get home.
You know my wife been giving me some uphill and it’s motivated me to do well
this week and we’ll definitely enjoy this together. You know, I’m going to have
a serious holiday now and I can’t wait to get home and celebrate,” said Ahlers. 

“Having those important people around me
is so important. I’ve got a young family and it has really changed my life –
especially after the birth of our second son. It’s just been great.”

Ahlers’ final round of one-under-par 71
was his first in the 70s after rounds of 68, 65 and 67, and the 33-year-old
says the final day was a true test.

“The week has been pretty tough,
conditions wise. I’ve really been hitting it well the whole week and today
wasn’t as good. Even so I kept it going and that’s what you have to do on this
golf course. You really do grind and try keep it in play and that’s what I did
I’m really happy with the result,” explained Ahlers.

After a shaky start to the year with three
consecutive missed cuts, it’s been hard work for the man from George.

“It’s been hard work. After my Investec
Cup win – the past year I’ve had a tough time. The work is paying off and I’ve
had a few guys helping me out and I can’t really say anything else. It’s just a
great feeling,” said Ahlers. 

Scores:

271 – Jaco Ahlers
(RSA) 68 65 67 71

271 – Jacques Blaauw
(RSA) 65 65 72 69

273 – Hennie du
Plessis (RSA) 72 68 66 67

274 – Adilson Da Silva
(BRA) 71 70 65 68

275 – Louis de Jager
(RSA) 68 72 67 68

276 – Jean-Paul
Strydom (RSA) 70 73 68 65

277 – Justin Harding
(RSA) 71 70 66 70

279 – Neil Schietekat
(RSA) 71 72 70 66, Danie van Tonder (RSA) 69 73 70 67, Ruan
de Smidt (RSA) 69 70 64 76

282 – Chris Swanepoel
(RSA) 73 67 73 69, Jaco Prinsloo (RSA) 69 71 70 72, Thanda
Mavundla (RSA) 66 77 67 72, Heinrich Bruiners (RSA) 72 71 66
73,Christiaan Basson (RSA) 70 67 70 75

283 – Lindani Ndwandwe
(RSA) 74 74 68 67

284 – Tyrone Ferreira
(RSA) 65 74 77 68, Mark Williams (ZIM) 67 73 70 74

285 – CJ du Plessis
(RSA) 76 71 70 68, Breyten Meyer (RSA) 68 77 71 69, Andrew
Georgiou (CYP) 71 69 72 73, Vaughn Groenewald (RSA) 71 70 70 74

286 – Teaghan Gauche
(RSA) 70 75 72 69, Anthony Michael (RSA) 75 73 71
67, Andrew Curlewis (RSA) 72 69 73 72

287 – Theunis
Spangenberg (RSA) 76 70 72 69, James Kamte (RSA) 78 71 68
70, Neal Herman (RSA) 75 72 69 71, Colin Nel (RSA) 77 74 70
66

288 – Jason Froneman
(RSA) 72 77 70 69, Rhys West (RSA) 69 78 70 71, Titch Moore
(RSA) 71 75 70 72

289 – Patrick
Mwendapole (ZAM) 70 73 75 71, Oliver Bekker (RSA) 72 71 68 78

290 – Alex Haindl
(RSA) 76 73 70 71

291 – Jason Viljoen
(RSA) 74 73 70 74, Tyrone Mordt (RSA) 73 74 72 72, Stephen
Ferreira (POR) 77 72 71 71, Jake Redman (RSA) 76 72 73 70,Le
Roux Ferreira (RSA) 78 72 72 69

292 – Makhetha
Mazibuko (RSA) 67 80 70 75, Divan van den Heever (RSA) 72 72 75
73, Steven Ferreira (RSA) 71 72 73 76, JC Ritchie (RSA) 74
74 67 77

293 – Werner van
Niekerk (RSA) 72 74 73 74, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 77 72 72 72

294 – Michael Hollick
(RSA) 69 74 73 78, Irvin Mazibuko (RSA) 72 75 75 72

295 – Bryce Easton
(RSA) 72 74 74 75, Stuart Smith (BOT) 75 72 74 74, PH
McIntyre (RSA) 72 73 76 74, Ruan Huysamen (NAM) 75 71 76
73,Andre de Decker (RSA) 75 75 74 71

296 – Jason Diab
(RSA) 76 71 73 76, Drikus Bruyns (RSA) 73 76 75 72

297 – Derick Petersen
(RSA) 75 74 75 73, Dwayne Basson (RSA) 72 76 77 72, Arthur
Horne (SWZ) 74 73 80 70

299 – Etienne Bond
(RSA) 77 73 71 78

300 – Robson Saurombe
(ZIM) 71 76 73 80, Stefan Engell Andersen (KEN) 73 74 76
77, Aaron Simfukwe Jnr (ZAM) (AMA) 71 77 77 75,Bryn Flanagan
(RSA) 79 72 76 73

301 – Dayne Moore
(ZAM) 73 77 76 75

307 – Armandt Scholtz
(RSA) 80 69 73 85, Ruan Pretorius (RSA) 76 75 78 78

309 – Cosmas Mufaya
(ZAM) 75 75 77 82



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