Kingston claims title in Swaziland

5/4/2013 5:50:00 PM
James Kingston  (Getty Images)
James Kingston (Getty Images)
James Kingston was crowned the 2013 Investec Royal Swazi Open champion after draining a clutch 12 foot putt on the 18th of Royal Swazi Sun Country Club to pip Ruan de Smidt in a play-off.

“Every win is a big win and they’re all gratifying,” beamed Kingston. “I haven’t won in a while, and I’ve grinded over the last few months, so coming away with a win just makes it all worth it.”

The 47 year old, who previously won the Swazi Open in 2002, drew on his experience during the play-off.

“Deep inside I knew I was playing well, and the fact that I’ve won before in Swaziland helped. It was a tough pin to attack today, but I had to take it on, because I went out to win,” he explained.

Kingston carded 21 birdies and two eagles during the 72 holes of regulation play.

That scoring equated to a 45-point total based on the tournament’s modified stableford scoring format, which offers up eight points for an albatross, five for an eagle, two for a birdie and none for par. One point is deducted for every bogey and three for double or worse.

He and de Smidt finished on 45 points apiece and entered a sudden-death playoff, repeating the 18th until the victor emerged. That moment came during the second playoff hole, when de Smidt left Kingston with a 12 foot par putt for victory.