Clément Sordet secured his fifth European Challenge Tour title at the SDC Open after defeating South African Ruan Conradie in a play-off.
The Frenchman bounced back brilliantly from two bogeys in his opening four holes to card a five under par round of 67 setting the clubhouse target at 21 under par, before Conradie joined him at the top of the leaderboard to force a play-off at Zebula Golf Estate & Spa.
Sordet birdied the first extra hole to defeat home favourite Conradie, who could only make par, and in victory in South Africa sees the 29-year-old climb 19 places to fourth position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, while Conradie catapults to eighth.
Overnight leader Deon Germishuys finished one shot off the pace, while Englishman Marco Penge was fourth on 19 under par.
Sordet was delighted to secure his first victory since the 2017 NBO Golf Classic Grand Final, a year in which he finished second on the Challenge Tour Rankings behind Finland’s Tapio Pulkkanen, admitting he has struggled with his game over the last few years.
“It feels surreal right now to get the win and it will take time to sink in,” he said. “The last few years have been tough on the DP World Tour and it is nice to return to the Challenge Tour and pick up a victory so early on in the season.
“I’ve played amazing all week and it is nice to finish with a birdie in the play-off to get that fifth win on the Challenge Tour.
“The only thing I could control out there was my game. The leaderboard was packed up the top, but I just had to focus on my score because I knew I was playing well. I was focused on creating birdie chances and I managed to do that pretty well today, so I am very happy.”
The Frenchman used his power to his advantage on the first play-off hole and it paid off after hitting the green in two to set up an eagle opportunity.
“In the play-off I knew I could hit it further than the other guy so I believed my strength was going for the green in two. I hit a nice three-iron on the green and managed to two-putt for birdie.”
German Freddy Schott and South African CJ du Plessis shared fifth place on 17 under par, while Road to Mallorca Number One JC Ritchie, four-time DP World Tour winner Matteo Manassero, Englishman Todd Clements, Italian Jacopo Vecchi Fossa and South African JJ Senekal share seventh place on 16 under.
Ritchie still leads the Road to Mallorca Rankings following back-to-back victories at the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open and Jonsson Workwear Open, while Germany’s Alexander Knappe occupies second place following his victory at the season-opening Dimension Data Pro-Am. Belgium’s Christopher Mivis sits in third place, while Sordet and Oliver Hundebøll complete the top five.
The Road to Mallorca remains in Limpopo for the Limpopo Championship taking place at Euphoria Golf Club and Koro Creek Golf Club from March 31- April 3.