ZAMBIA’s star golfer, Madalitso Muthiya yesterday ended his campaign at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Championship in joint fourth after firing an impressive nine-under-par 207 at the Pezula Golf Estate and Spa in South Africa.
It was Muthiya’s best-ever showing on the Sunshine Tour circuit since 2006 when he tied for second at the Zambia Open Championship in Chingola.
For all his troubles at the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament, Muthiya, who tied with five others, pocketed R25,079.17 (about K14,796).
After a blistering start to this tournament where he shot a six-under-par 66 on Day One to share the second position, Muthiya had two moderate rounds where he carded one-under and two-under, respectively.
That performance over the last two days saw the 31-year-old Lusaka golfer slip on the ladder as other competitors surged forward.
Muthiya had by the second day slipped into joint third position and would curse the two bogeys he got on the day which were on the seventh and 16th holes, the same places where he got birdies in the first round.
Those two dropped shots had also diluted the three birdies he sunk on Day Two and now with a score of seven-under-par, it looked like the whole field was chasing him.
Looking at the scorecards for the two days, Muthiya knew he needed to up his game in the last round especially that his Day One had brought him a bogey free round pampered by six birdies.
Yesterday, Muthiya started like he did on the first two days with three opening pars but nerves got the better of him on the fourth where he dropped a shot but immediately recovered on the next hole.
He then had a memorable run of three birdies on four holes (eighth, 10th and 11th) which brought his run to 10-under and went into joint leadership and looked good for the prize money.
But Muthiya thrust himself down the money table by dropping a shot each on the 13th and 16th and he needed to hold his nerve to sink a birdie on the last hole to close on nine-under-par 207, four shots behind eventual winner Keith Horne.
Muthiya was with joint fourth with five South Africans including Ruan de Smidt, Michael Hollick, Neil Schietekat, Alex Haindl and Erik van Rooyen.
Horne produced a five-under-par 67 to take the title by one shot over South African compatriot, Ulrich van den berg who had an even better seven-under -par 65 on the final day.
The 43-year-old finished on 13-under-par 203 while van den berg was on 204 with Dylan Fritelli on 205 in third.
The victory gave Horne his second Vodacom Origins of Golf victory for the year after he won at St Francis Links in August, and lifted him to seventh on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.