Daniel van Tonder shot a final-round 7-under 64 to force a playoff with Thailand’s Janewattananond on 21 under par. After two trips down the 18th hole at Karen Country Club, the third time was the charm for the 30-year old South African, who converted a short birdie putt to claim victory at the Kenya Savannah Classic.
van Tonder was quick to credit his caddie and wife, Abigail van Tonder, for her role in allowing him stay calm when things got a bit shaky.
“I tried to keep it easy. It’s 18 holes, I needed to 18 tee shots and 18 second shots and try to make it as easy as possible,” said van Tonder, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2020 on the Sunshine Tour, winning four times in five starts to close out the calendar year.
“That was in my mind, just to hit fairways first then hit the second on the green and try and make the putt. The first nine went well and I started the second nine also very well.
“But I had the two bogeys in a row, two big fliers – I don’t know how – but luckily my wife is on the bag and she kept me calm and reminded me of a few things, and it worked.
“It was very special. She’s been on the bag for seven years. She’s been with me through thick and thin. It was very special to see the highs coming together and sharing them.
“It’s very exciting. We’ve been working hard. It took a while, but it came and I’m very happy – my wife is over the moon. I’m very happy and grateful.
“Work hard. Keep your head down, be humble. I love my wife, she’s the rock. She keeps me calm, makes me positive in everything.”
Watch the Van Tonder’s Embrace After Maiden European Tour Win
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