Chinhoi claims maiden Sunshine Tour title with play-off victory in Zambia

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LUSAKA, ZAMBIA - MAY 21: Robson Chinhoi during round 4 at the Zanaco Masters at Lusaka Golf Club on May 21, 2023 in Lusaka, South Africa. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour)

Lusaka- Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi has won a few 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.

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.

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.

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.

Robson Chinhoi

“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 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.

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.

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

SCORES:
(* won in playoff)
-17 – *Robson Chinhoi
-17 – Neil Schietekat
-16 – Ryan Van Velzen
-15 – Rupert Kaminski, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Stefan Wears-Taylor, Sean Bradley
-13 – Robin Williams, Martin Rohwer
-12 – Nikhil Rama, Malcolm Mitchell, David Wicks
-11 – Keegan Mclachlan, Hennie O’Kennedy
-10 – Christiaan Basson, Yurav Premlall, Peter Karmis, Jake Redman, Siyanda Mwandla
-9 – Tristin Galant, Nyasha Muyambo, Kyle Barker, Gerhard Pepler, Gerhard Trytsman
-8 – Lyle Rowe, Doug McGuigan, Christiaan Burke, Chris Cannon, Jaco Ahlers, Jacques Blaauw, Hennie Otto
-7 – James Mack, Herman Loubser
-6 – Sydney Joseph Wemba, Ruan Conradie
-5 – Luke Trocado, Danie Van Niekerk, DK Kim
-4 – Ricky Hendler, Rhys West, Kyle McClatchie
-3 – Conner Mackenzie, Heinrich Bruiners
-2 – Nicholaus Frade
-1 – Hayden Griffiths, Keelan van Wyk, Ben Firth, Jovan Rebula, Stuart Krog
Par – Drikus Joubert, Tyron Davidowitz
+1 – Wynand Dingle, Luke Jerling
+2 – Albert Venter, Steve Surry, Callum Mowat, Paul Boshoff
+3 – Vaughn van Deventer
+4 – Gregory Mckay
+5 – Aneurin Gounden, Keagan Thomas
+6 – Willie Olivier
Missed the cut:-
Par – James Pennington, Luke Brown, Anthony Michael, Ronald Rugumayo, Jack Hawksby, Adam Breen, Jacquin Hess, Jason Roets, Warwick Purchase, Visitor Mapwanya
+1 – Ruan de Smidt, Jean-Paul Strydom, Jacques P de Villiers, Madalitso Muthiya, MJ Viljoen, Philip Geerts
+2 – Louis Albertse, Travis Ladner, Fredrik From, Ethan Smith
+3 – Morton Muwowo, Michael Kok, Aaron Simfukwe Jnr, Clancy Waugh, Brian Gondo, James Kamte
+4 – Jared Harvey, Dayne Moore, Toto Thimba Jnr, Paul Adam Chidale, Merrick Bremner, Timothy M Sondashi
+6 – LB Boshoff, Marcel Steyn Scholtz, Keelan Africa, Thabang Simon, Jonathan Broomhead, Dezzie Ngandu, Gabriel Chibale, Biggie Chibvuri, Promise Sombrero
+7 – Jonathan Waschefort, Teboho Sefatsa, Reinhardt Blaauw, Ryan Tipping, Neil Bothma, Ryan Cairns
+8 – Omar Sandys, Leon Visser, Francois van Staden
+9 – Alphius Kelapile
+10 – Morton Kombai, Raphael Phiri, Shankar Natarajan
+11 – Gaita Rodell, Ntengwa Mukosa, Kelly Tembo
+12 – Patrick Mwendapole Snr, Del Piero Daniels, Mwivwanji Simukoko
+13 – Mandla Dlamini Jnr, Musambo Kapoma JNR, Leonard Chibwe, Denmark Mulambo
+17 – Sebastain Stobart
+18 – Bruce Chanda, Joshua Mwendapole
+19 – Keagan Bwalya
+23 – Ricco Motsa
WDN – Ignatius Mketekete
RTD – Johan Theron

 

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