- By Michael Vlismas
GEORGE, Western Cape – Germany’s Alexander Knappe broke down in tears after winning the Dimension Data Pro-Am by a single stroke over South Africa’s Dean Burmester at Fancourt on Sunday.
After a final-round battle that saw him and Burmester tied for the lead for most of the day, Knappe birdied the par-five 18th on the Montagu golf course for a 68 that earned him victory on 23 under par. Burmester took second place on 22 under par with a closing 68 of his own.
For Knappe, this was an emotional victory at a place he calls his second home and where he spends the European winters practicing.
“Fancourt is like a home for me. I live here on the estate. The three courses here are so good to practice on and get ready for tournaments. South Africa is really lovely, and George is special to me,” said a delighted Knappe, who last won in 2016.
This was indeed a special victory forged as the mixture of a dream and intense hard work.
“In 2015 I saw this tournament, and in 2016 I played in it for the first time and finished third. I’ve just always wanted to win this tournament.”
Burmester pushed as hard as he could and his birdie on 16 drew him level with the German, and with the par-five 18th to come. But the South African could only manage a par at the last, opening the door for Knappe playing behind him and who had a short putt for birdie and the title.
The emotion he showed was the result of the countless hours he has spent practicing on these three golf courses, the intense work he’s put in on the mental side of his game over the past few months, and the added work he’s done physically with his South African trainer Garth Milne. And it all came together in a week in which he didn’t make a single bogey in 72 holes.
“It was good competition with Dean, and four rounds bogey free on these golf courses is an unbelievable feeling for me. I just love this place so much. I’ve spent so many hours on these courses – in the rain, when there’s been a threat of lightning, when nobody has been out here I’ve been working on these greens, and when it happened now all that hard work just came out in tears.
“I really wanted it, and now it’s a reality.”
The Sunshine Tour and Challenge Tour travel to Cape Town this week for the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club and Rondebosch Golf Club.
Photo Credit: Sunshine Tour.