Closing 71 for Purcell as Lindberg wins dramatic playoff

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Conor Purcell (Photo by Johan Rynners/Getty Images)

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Mikael Lindberg holed a 30 foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to secure a dramatic victory in the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.

The Swede bounced back from bogeying the final hole in regulation to birdie the second playoff hole against South African Ryan van Velzen to clinch the title.

The 31-year-old, who is now a two-time winner on the Challenge Tour having won the Indoor Golf Group Challenge in 2022, admits he went through a range of emotions over the closing stages in the Mother City.

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“It was a rollercoaster of a day but it was a very good day,” he said. “I had so many thoughts walking to the 18th green in regulation, and all I was thinking was to just two-putt it and I’ll win. The first putt was probably the worst putt I hit the whole week and I left it about six feet short, and with that putt it was just a miss-read.

“In the playoff, I definitely had it in the back of my mind that I’d just three-putted that hole, but to make that long putt to win it was a huge relief.”

Meanwhile, Conor Purcell’s final round charge never materialised as he carded a one-under 71 to finish on nine-under-par and a share of 24th place.

After dropping an early shot on the third, the Portmarnock man got back on track with a birdie on 5 and only a final birdie on the 12th hole interrupted a run of twelve pars coming home.

Lindberg, who was the overnight leader heading into the final round, bogeyed the third hole but responded by making five birdies in seven holes around the turn.

Still trailing van Veltzen by one stroke at that stage, Lindberg then birdied the 16th and 17th holes to lead by one going down the last, but after three putting the final hole, the duo returned to the 18th tee.

Lindberg and van Veltzen both parred the first playoff hole, but after van Veltzen missed a difficult birdie chance, Lindberg took advantage to win the second event of the Road to Mallorca season.

“It feels so good to play well at this early stage of the season,” he added. “I’ve been here a couple of times before and I’ve always played well on this course.

“I had a bogey at the beginning of the round which I felt took a little bit of pressure off me and after that I started to play a lot better. It’s a very big win for me.”

South African Louis Albertse carded a five under par round of 67 to finish in solo third on 15 under par, one stroke clear of Frenchman Robin Sciot-Siegrist and South African JC Ritchie who shared fourth.

Six players finished in a tie for sixth place including South African’s Toto Thimba Jnr, Shaun Norris and Rupert Kaminski, Frenchman Martin Couvra, Lars van Meijel from the Netherlands and Dane Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen.

The win sees Lindberg climb into second place on the season-long Road to Mallorca Rankings, with SDC Open winner, Rhys Enoch from Wales retaining his place as the Number One. South African Deon Germishuys is in third place, with countryman Albertse in fourth and Sciot-Siegrist making up the top five.

The Road to Mallorca remains in South Africa for a third week, with the Dimension Data Pro-Am taking place at Fancourt Golf Estate from February 15-18.

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