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Altin van der Merwe clinches Africa Amateur Championship in playoff, secures spot in The Open

Posted : 26 February 2024

Altin van der Merwe showcased remarkable composure in a sudden-death playoff to clinch victory in the Africa Amateur Championship, securing a coveted spot in the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon later this year.


The 27-year-old GolfRSA No 1's win comes with exemptions into prestigious tournaments like The Amateur Championship, The Open, the Alfred Dunhill Championship, and the Waterfall City Tournament of Champions.


Expressing his excitement about playing in The Open, Van der Merwe highlighted his anticipation of navigating the links golf course with precision. This triumph follows his recent victory at the GolfRSA International Amateur Championship, where he delivered an impressive bunker shot in a playoff.


Van der Merwe, part of the GolfRSA National Squad, started the day three shots behind but showcased resilience by birdieing the par-five 18th hole twice, first in regulation play and then in the playoff against fellow South Africans Christiaan Maas and overnight leader Ivan Verster.


The three competitors were tied at 13-under-par after the regulation 72 holes. Van der Merwe's final round of two-under-par 70 proved pivotal, securing his status as the new Africa Amateur Champion. The victory adds to his remarkable performance over the past year, solidifying his position as the leading player in South African men's amateur golf.


Verster, the overnight leader, faced challenges during the playoff, making a costly bogey at the par-three 16th, expressing a mix of emotions after the intense competition. Maas, another contender, acknowledged his day's struggles but maintained admiration for Van der Merwe's exceptional finish.


Despite the competition's intensity, Van der Merwe reflected on the significance of being crowned the Africa Amateur Champion and credited the supportive atmosphere at Leopard Creek. The tournament also witnessed a standout performance by Zimbabwean Keegan Schutt, who produced a round of a lifetime with a 10-under-par 62, adding to the event's excitement.


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