YORKSHIRE champion Jamie Bower rates his second win in four events in South Africa as the better of the two because he “wasn’t on it tee to green” in the Southern Cape Open.
Even so, the Meltham player won by three shots at Mossel Bay GC as rounds of 70 68 70 68 gave him a 12-under-par aggregate.
Bower had won the Gauteng North Open, at Irene GC, in the first of six events he is playing in South Africa as a member of England Golf’s men’s squad.
“This win to me is even more pleasing than the last one,” he said. “To say I was struggling with my swing is probably the wrong word, but I certainly wasn’t on it tee to green like I was at Irene a few weeks ago.
“It was mainly my putter that did the damage this time. So to still win despite not quite being at my best long-game wise is really satisfying for me.
“My putter was really hot all week and I think that’s the biggest reason why I was able to score well. Also it was quite windy all week so I think that gave us English players a slight advantage over the locals as we’re more used to it.”
He added: “I put a lot of work into my game leading up to this tour and it’s nice now to see some reward for that.”
Bower had trailed joint leaders Luke Jerling and Andre Nel, both South Africans, by one shot after shooting a two-under-par 70 on Saturday morning in the third round.
“One shot behind with 18 to play is nothing, especially with the wind blowing,” he said. “My main goal for the final round was really to just not make any big mistakes.
“I knew there was a good chance that other players around me would fall away so I just tried to keep my ball in play as often as I could and let the birdies take care of themselves.”
Two birdies in the first six holes as Jerling and Nel both faltered put the Yorkshireman in the driving seat and although he dropped a shot at the eighth and 11th, he also had birdies at the 10th, 16th and 17th holes to win comfortably from another South African, Jovan Rebola.
Bower added: “I do seem to like it over here. The warm weather is very much a feel-good factor, I think so, that helps.”
As well as his two wins. Bower placed third in the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek and tied 24th at Blue Valley Golf and Country Estate in the South African Amateur Stroke Play championship in Gauteng, where he was under par every round.
He has two more events to play before returning home; the Cape Province Open and the South African Amateur.