Terblanche defies age to win Open

MBABANE - If there is a directive that when a player turns 40, it signals a diminishing ability to accrue tournament titles and older players aren't meant to win, big Des Terblanche certainly didn't get the memo.

MBABANE - If there is a directive that when a player turns 40, it signals a diminishing ability to accrue tournament titles and older players aren't meant to win, big Des Terblanche certainly didn't get the memo.

The feisty Free Stater defied any notions of age restrictions or expiration dates when at 41, he took his tally of career wins to 17 after capturing the Samsung Royal Swazi Sun Open on Saturday.

Under the Modified Stableford format that rewards players two points for a birdie, five for an eagle, eight for an albatross and deducts one for a bogey and two for a double bogey or worse, Terblanche carded a final round 68 worth 12 points to clinch the silverware with a winning total of 50 points.

That was two better than rising black star, James Kamte, who is 18 years his junior.

Kamte fired the lowest score of the day, a 63 worth 19 points to vault to second, while overnight leader, George Coetzee finished alone in third on 46 points after a two-shot penalty was added at the end of his round.

Port Elizabeth's Titch Moore, who was tied for 56th after an opening round 2, finished alone in fourth on 45 points with further rounds of 15-13 and 15.

Terblanche's victory was hard-earned and his rounds of 66-67-66-68 pay tribute to his enduring consistency, especially over the last five months.

"I wanted to win this one after so many near misses," said a relieved Terblanche, who recommitted himself in May 2006 after a couple of lacklustre years.

The 41-year old veteran made the most of his round, hitting a couple of great shots coming home and his first victory since winning the same title in 2004 was sweet and redemptive, especially after a wayward shot at the arduous par-5 17th almost ruined his chances at the title.

After watching Terblanche bogey the 17th, Coetzee faced the real possibility of winning his maiden title.

After a bogey at the par-3 18th, Coetzee dropped to third on 46 points.

His cheque worth R48000 catapulted Coetzee from 63rd to 45th on the Order of Merit, but did little to eradicate the disappointment of not winning. - Sapa

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