Sun City – Peter Karmis took last year’s Sun City Challenge in a play-off for his second title of a fruitful season.
Karmis has already shown enough signs of form to make him an early favourite for this year’s tournament when tees off at Gary Player Country Club on Tuesday.
He finished the 54-hole tournament on six-under-par, sharing the top spot with Jake Roos, and then made par on the famous island green at Sun City to take the resulting play-off.
Karmis played it smart on the play-off hole, even though he pushed his tee shot to the trees on the right of the fairway. He laid up and then hit a five-iron punch shot to about 100 yards, then placed himself 20 feet beyond the tight pin.
“I always lay up,” laughed Karmis. “Even if I striped it down there, I was laying up. Normally I’m quite bold, but I just didn’t have the right club for the yardage. And I definitely wouldn’t have gone for the flag!
“In regulation, I laid up with a gap wedge. Pretty lame, I know, and then I hit another gap wedge in close. That was the original strategy on the play-off hole.”
Roos, on the other hand, tried to reach the green in two.
He sent his second shot into the inside edge of the water and failed to make the putt to send the play-off to an additional hole after he took his penalty.
Karmis has had a great start to the 2018-19 Sunshine Tour season, with two top-10s in the four tournaments he has played. He currently lies 13th on the Order of Merit behind leader Justin Harding, and he will be looking to make his way into the top 10 this week.
He’s up against a strong field, with Harding in the midst of a purple patch which included two victories in the last two tournaments.
Roos, too, has been impressive at the start of the season, with two top-10s including a marathon play-off loss in the last tournament to Harding.
In addition, Karmis will face 2018 tourmanent winners in Rourke van der Spuy and JJ Senekal, while Daniel van Tonder had showed he’s rapidly approaching the kind of form which made him a multiple winner a few seasons back.