JC Ritchie saw off Trevor Fisher Jnr. on the second play-off hole at Royal Harare Golf Club to win the 2017 Zimbabwe Open. Source : Sunshine Tour
After being seven-over-par after his first seven holes of the tournament, Ritchie bounced back with 29 birdies to tie Fisher on 16-under-par for the week.
“I actually started the week off quite rough. I was seven-over-par after seven holes. I made that eagle-two on the ninth and that’s where it turned around for me,” explained Ritchie.
Ritchie sealed the dramatic win with a right to left 13-foot putt on the 18th green, which epitomised his putting display during the week.
“That was unreal golf. I really enjoyed it and never really felt like I was out of contention. It was one of the best putting expositions I’ve had in my entire life,” he said.
Fisher started his final round strongly, however three bogeys in a row at the turn saw his three-shot lead disappear. An eagle at the par-five 16th saw him shoot back into a two-shot lead, but a double-bogey on the 17th made for a play-off with Ritchie.
“I felt last night that 63 today would definitely win by one. I didn’t expect Fish to make double on the 17th, he was playing unreal golf. When I got onto 15 tee box I knew I needed three more [birdies]. I hit an unreal second shot into 16 and lipped out for eagle,” Ritchie said.
The win is his first on the Sunshine Tour and it promises to set up a good run of form for the remainder of the season.