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Karlsson clinches maiden victory in Cape Town

Karlsson clinches maiden victory in Cape Town

Anton Karlsson came from three shots behind to win his maiden European Challenge Tour title at the RAM Cape Town Open.

Anton Karlsson celebrates his first Challenge Tour victory at the RAM Cape Town Open 

The Swede carded a three under par round of 69 in difficult scoring conditions at Royal Cape Golf Club to jump ahead of a packed leaderboard and record a one-shot victory over South African Garrick Higgo at 14 under par.

Karlsson maintained the momentum from a bogey-free eight under par third round of 64 as he reeled off six birdies in seven holes from the 7th hole to move to the top of the leaderboard, before holding off a late charge from Higgo to secure his first victory on the circuit.

“It was one of the toughest days of golf in my career with the conditions,” he said. “It feels amazing to come out on top and to play some really good golf.

“My only aim this morning was to go out there and win. I was three shots back and I knew I was playing well after a 64 yesterday. It was really windy out there, so I knew I just had to be patient and do my thing.

“The opening holes were playing tough and I ended up in the wrong places, but I really got it going after that, and from the 6th hole it was probably the best stretch of golf I’ve ever played.

“It got a bit exciting at the end. I hit every shot as I intended down the 18th hole but then raced my putt by a little further than I would have liked, but it’s always nice to hole a putt to win.”

Higgo started the day six shots behind overnight leader Daniel van Tonder but the 20-year-old recorded the best result of his fledgling Challenge Tour career after a five under par final round of 67.

He finished in second position on 13 under par, three shots clear of English Toby Tree who made the most of his decision to forego a place in the field for this week’s European Tour event and instead travel to familiar territory in South Africa as he signed off with a one under par round of 71 to secure a top three result.

The English pair of Harry Ellis and Jordan Wrisdale, and Frenchman Damien Perrier, finished one shot further back in a tie for fourth, with overnight leader van Tonder settling for seventh place, alongside Allen John and Mitch Waite on eight under par.

Karlsson moves to second place on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, just 85 points behind last week’s Limpopo Championship winner JC Ritchie, with Wilco Nienaber occupying third place after the opening two events.

The Challenge Tour now travels to Fancourt Golf Estate, George, for the Dimension Data Pro-Am, which gets under way from February 13-16.

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