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Thu Apr 24 14:42:52 SAST 2014

Harding dominant in Zambia

Sapa | 18 June, 2012 08:200 Comments
2012 Sun City Challenge: Day 2
Justin Harding during day 2 of the Sun City Challenge at Lost City Golf Club on May 25, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Image by: Luke Walker / Gallo Images

Justin Harding shot a final-round 68 to win the Zambia Open at the Lusaka Golf Club on Sunday, finishing two shots clear of his nearest rival in the R1.2 million tournament.

The 26-year-old began his round one stroke clear of the field and stretched his lead throughout the day, reaching 12-under-par and coasting to his third Sunshine Tour win.

Harding said he was pleased with the manner in which he won in Zambia.

“I managed to keep it together,” he said.

“At the beginning of the day I knew that if I could shoot a round under par I would have a chance. It was awesome walking up there [the 18th green] and seeing the crowds.

“I’ve been working on keeping cool, calm and collected.” 

Throughout the week the Cape Town local looked comfortable in windy conditions, breaking par on all four days at Lusaka.

Harding shot a 69 on Saturday to head into the last round at seven-under, a stroke clear of Divan van den Heever.

Harding added that he was happy with how he had been hitting his strokes.

“If you just put it in play around this golf course then it is playable,” he said.

“I played the par-fives relatively well. The greens are good and I made my fair share of putts today, which hasn’t happened in a while.” 

His closest chaser, Van den Heever shot a disappointing 75 on day one, but salvaged his chances with a second-round 70.

Van den Heever shot a 68 on Saturday, and 69 on Sunday to secure sole second.

Sunshine Tour veteran Des Terblanche shot the round of the day, with a 67 to finish tied for third — along with JG Claassen — at nine-under-par.

Terblanche said he was impressed by the tough conditions out there at the Lusake course.

“The wind has been blowing for four days straight. It becomes difficult and players start making stupid mistakes because you make swing changes,” Terblanche said.

“It’s a great course and a great layout. It’s very tough, so it has a US Open type of feeling.

"There are some flags you can’t go for. I don’t think we get enough of that on our tour, so this week was very good."

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