England international Tom Plumb played outstanding golf to shoot 18-under par and win the Sanlam Cape Province Open in South Africa by two shots.
It was the lowest tournament score so far from the 19-year-old and in his final, bogey-free, round of seven-under 65 he hit every green in regulation.
Plumb, from Yeovil Golf Club in Somerset, shared eighth place after his first round of two-under at George Golf Club. He moved into the lead when he scored six-under 66 at Kingswood Golf Estate, shared top spot after his third round 69 and claimed the trophy with his closing 65.
Another English player, Joe Harvey of The Kendleshire, Gloucestershire, tied fourth on ten-under.
“It was fun” said Plumb, who is a member of the England Men’s Squad. Going into the third day and the last two rounds, he knew he’d have to put his foot down: “There were so many birdies being made, it was ridiculous. I knew what I had to do and I knew it was possible.”
He didn’t have it all his own way though. He started the third round with an eight after two drives went out of bounds. But he wasn’t fazed. “They were really good drives, they just went too far,” he said. “I told myself it was just one hole and that there were plenty of birdies out there and I had to keep hitting greens and making them.”
He did exactly that and went on to hit tip-top form in the final round. “I hit all the greens in regulation on the front nine and said if I could do that again I would win – and that’s what I did, hit all 18 greens in regulation. I’ve never done that before in a situation like that and it gave me great confidence.”
Plumb also drew on his experiences in the South American Amateur in Chile in January, where he was in contention until a final hole bogey ended his chances. “That gave me a big kick in the teeth, it was the worst I have felt finishing in a golf tournament. But it helped me here – and I didn’t want to let two go.”
Plumb’s victory came in the final event of a month long tour of South Africa, representing England Golf alongside David Langley of Castle Royle, BB&O, Joe Long of Lansdown, Gloucestershire, and Billy McKenzie of Rowlands Castle, Hampshire. “Every minute we have had has been an unbelievable experience,” he said.
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Image © Pieter Els