Van Tonder breaks through on the big stage

South Africa’s Daniel van Tonder out lasted Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond in a three hole sudden death playoff to win the his first European Tour title at the Kenya Savannah Classic.

Van Tonder birdied the final hole to card a 7-under-par 64 finishing at 21-under with Janewattananond to force the playoff. After regulation pars on the first two playoff holes van Tonder buried the third to gain his victory.

Daniel van Tonder Daniel van Tonder (Credit: European Tour)

It was van Tonder’s fifth win in eight months after winning four times on the secondary Sunshine Tour. Van Tonder becomes the second South African to win in a week on the European Tour after Justin Harding claimed victory at the Kenya Open.

“I felt at the first tournament I wasn’t swinging it as well or trusting my shape,” said van Tonder. “I missed the cut by one…I didn’t let that get us down, I worked hard in the few days and it worked this week.”

WITB: Daniel van Tonder

  • Titleist Pro V1x Golf Ball
  • Titleist TSi3 Driver (8º)
  • Titleist TSi2 3W (13.5º)
  • Titleist TSi2 5W (18º)
  • Titleist 716 MB (3), Titleist 718 MB (4-PW)
  • Titleist Vokey Design SM8 Wedges (53, 63)
  • Scotty Cameron Futura 5MB Putter

“I’ve had wins on the Sunshine Tour, but this win is very special. It’s very exciting. We’ve been working hard. It took a while, but it came and I’m very happy – my wife is over the moon. I’ve been waiting for a while and finally it came.”

Scott Hend finished as leading Australian in a share of 42nd position finishing at 9-under after a final round 67, while Maverick Antcliff finished a shot behind after a final round of 72.

The European Tour is on a week-long break and will resume with the first major of the year, the Masters at Augusta National on 8-11th April with the first regular European Tour event starting on 15th April at the Austrian Open.