delaet scoops classic

CANADIAN Graham DeLaet let the sunshine in on Sunday when he won his maiden Sunshine Tour event with a one-stroke victory in the 54-hole R500000 BMG Classic played at the 6914m par-72 Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg.

CANADIAN Graham DeLaet let the sunshine in on Sunday when he won his maiden Sunshine Tour event with a one-stroke victory in the 54-hole R500000 BMG Classic played at the 6914m par-72 Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg.

He fired a third-round 69 to finish on an 11-under-par 205 ahead of England's Jeff Inglis in second place.

In his fifth tournament in South Africa, DeLaet capped a magical run of results. He came 12th in the Joburg Open, 12th in the Africa Open, second in the Vodacom Championship, second in the Telkom PGA Championship and now he has this win under his belt.

"I loved each one of the five weeks I have spent playing here," DeLaet said, "and look at the sun shining on my face," he added as he received his trophy.

It was not all plain sailing for him, though. He bogeyed the 17th to let Inglis - waiting in the clubhouse on 10 under - back into the reckoning.

"That was just a poor swing," said DeLaet. "Luckily I had made birdie on 16 to give myself a little bit of a cushion."

That birdie was the product of a feature of his game during the tournament. His rifle-straight driving put him in position to go for the flag on so many holes that he had the birdie opportunities. He hit his approach to within 60cm on the 16th to convert the birdie opportunity, and after faltering on the 17th, his tee shot on 18 was once again close to perfect.

His approach went 4,5m past the flag, and he was left with an awkward downhill putt for birdie. Things became a little shaky as he ran his putt 120cm by.

"I did not need that for the win," he joked afterwards, but he sank it to consolidate his runaway lead in the race for the Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year title.

Inglis came storming through the field with a final round of eight-under 64, with four birdies on each of the nines.

It was the round of the day, and he was the only player not to drop a shot in his final round.

Third place was shared by Jacques Blaauw, Louis de Jager and Brandon Pieters. Blaauw had a chance at winning, but a double bogey on the 18th saw him sink back to nine under for the tournament, a pity after a magical run of six consecutive birdies from the sixth to the 11th. - Sapa

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