By Michael Vlismas
Ruan Korb claimed his maiden Sunshine Tour victory in the Time Square Casino Challenge at Wingate Park Country Club on Friday, and his timing was indeed spot on as he also booked himself a place in all three of the upcoming European Tour co-sanctioned tournaments in South Africa.
Korb birdied the last hole to win by one shot over Anton Haig, closing with a 70 for a total of 15 under par. He is now exempt for all three of the upcoming Joburg Open, Alfred Dunhill Championship and South African Open.
â€œIt feels so good. I am very grateful. Iâ€™m so glad that my days of pre-qualifying for tournaments are over,â€ said a delighted Korb.
Haig took second place on 14 under with a closing 66, while Jake Redman and Deon Germishuys shared third place on 12 under with respective final rounds of 69 and 70.
There is no overstating what this win means to Korb. After a difficult 2019 and then the lockdown of 2020, he says he still came out of that with a feeling that this could be his year. And he put all of that self-belief into a six-foot putt on the 18th that pulled him free of a tie with Haig on 14 under and earned him the winning birdie.
â€œIâ€™m so happy to have pulled it off. I was on the 17th when I saw the leaderboard and that Anton had made par at the last, so I knew I had to make birdie on 18 to win. It was a six-footer, but there were so many thoughts going through my head.
â€œIâ€™m just glad I was able to do it. I donâ€™t think I played my best golf today, but I managed to pull it through. I almost cried on the 18th when I made the putt. I havenâ€™t felt like that in a very long time. Itâ€™s such a great feeling.â€