Jacques Kruyswijk birdied his final two holes to claim a maiden European Challenge Tour title at the Dormy Open.
Round four in Sweden was cancelled due to the weather conditions, meaning the tournament would be decided after 54 holes.
The South African was one of a number of competitors who returned to Askersunds Golfklubb on Sunday to complete their third rounds after play was suspended due to heavy rain on Saturday.
With just three holes left to complete, the 30-year-old was two strokes behind overnight leader Aron Zemmer. But after the Italian dropped two strokes, Kruyswijk finished par-birdie-birdie to claim the title by two shots as he signed for a four under par 63 and a nine under total.
“Ecstatic. That’s the only word I can think of,” said Kruyswijk. “It’s been a long week for all of the players. We’ve had so much rain, the course was flooded and last night I knew I had some work to do, I was prepared to play 20 holes. I was thinking to just get into the clubhouse with a score but I played 17 fantastically and played 18 unbelievably. I’m very happy with my finish.”
“The 18th was solid, 4-iron down the middle of the fairway. I had 182 (yards) to the flag and my caddie said let’s just hit a full shot into the flag. So, I hit a 7-iron which finished around a metre from the hole. I was a little nervous around that last one, it’s not a gimme but managed to go in the middle of the cup so I’m very happy.”
A three-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, with his last victory coming just a fortnight ago at the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Zebula, Kruyswijk has now set his sights on a return to the DP World Tour at the end of the season.
“Any win is always big but for me to get over the line in Europe has always been a big thing for me,” he added. “I’ve had a few wins in South Africa and haven’t been able to get over the line in Europe. This means a lot; I’ve had double knee surgery last year which has put me back. Obviously, my confidence was at an all-time low the last couple of months and to be able to see the hard work of my team payoff is unbelievable.”
“I always go on my knees and thank my lord and saviour for everything he is doing for me, without him, nothing is possible. It means the world, to win in Europe and on the Challenge Tour means I can take it to the next step and win on the DP World Tour, I’ve been playing there the last six years and haven’t been able to get the win so hopefully this is some added confidence going forward.”
With his victory, Kruyswijk climbed 256 places on the Road to Mallorca Rankings up to 47th. Frenchman Ugo Coussaud moved up to second on the season-long standings after his runner-up finish.
Coussaud shared second in Sweden with Germany’s Anton Albers, Spaniard Ivan Cantero Gutierrez and Irishman Conor Purcell.
The Challenge Tour will remain in Sweden for next week’s Indoor Golf Group Challenge in Vesterby.