BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Zimbabwe’s rising golf star Scott Vincent overcame a nervy finish to hold off a late charge from home favourite Ryo Ishikawa and complete a wire-to-wire victory at the Sansan KBC Augusta in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.
The 29-year-old held a one shot advantage over the club house leader Ishikawa as he reached the 18th hole at Keya Golf Club, but had a nerve wrecking experience after tee shot went way left, missing the fairway.
Vincent was able to hold his nerve by reaching the green in three before making two putts for par to complete a bogey free final round of 68 for a one shot victory over Ishikawa on a four-round total of 17-under-par 27.
This was Vincent’s first win on the Japan Golf Tour although the Zimbabwean clinched the Landic Challenge on the developmental Abema TV Tour on the same golf course back in 2019.
After sinking the winning putt, Vincent celebrated on the 18th green with his American wife Kelsey, who is also his caddy.
Mhondoro, as Vincent is popularly known in local golf circles was then presented with the winner’s trophy and a green blazer which is given to the winner, just like they do at one of golf’s majors, the Masters played in Augusta, Georgia in the US.
Vincent will also be smiling all the way to the bank as it was his biggest pay day to date since turning professional after collecting a ¥20 000 000 Japanese Yen (about US$182 000) winner’s cheque for his victory.
“I was relieved that I was able to get it back on the fairway,” an elated Vincent said of his errant tee shot on the final hole.
“I am so happy that I have won here again with my wife on my bag. I am still surprised that I was able to win today.”
The win capped off a memorable few weeks for Vincent, whose confidence has been souring with each outing since his impressive performance against some of the world’s best golfers at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Vincent began is campaign at the Sansan KBC Augusta in style when his second shot with a four iron from 231 yards (about 211 meters) to the pin almost holed in for double eagle.
He tapped in for eagle for a sizzling opening round of eight-under-par 64 to move into a share of the lead.
Vincent consolidated his lead with a wo-under-par second round as the rest of the field struggled to make up ground following his spectacular opening round. He followed that up with a third-round 69 on Saturday before closing with a 68 to win by a shot on 17-under-par.
The Zimbabwean is expected to jump into the top 170 in the
world golf rankings which is a step closer towards his target of breaking into the top 100 before year-end.
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