THE way Jaco Van Zyl played at one stage gave the impression that the Mother of Pearl trophy would stay with a South African for the third year in a row.
With two-time defending champion Braden Grace not turning up this time, it was left to the Pretoria native to carry the South African flag flying.
The 37-year-old, in search of his maiden European Tour title, gave it all before bowing out in play-off.
“An unfortunate 3-putt on the sixth holem kind of put a damper on things a little bit. I kind of just lingered along until I made a nice one on 13. Unfortunately, I hit a couple of good putts that just didn’t go in,” said Van Zyl, who was playing in his 150th European Tour event.
Both Van Zyl and Wang Jeung-Hun both opened with two birdies to move to 17-under before the South African also birdied three and five to move to 16-under before bogeying five.
Van Zyl birdied 13 to move up to 17-under and was soon in a tie with Wang after the South Korean bogeyed 14.
“The back nine were playing really tough. The wind came up and it was really challenging,” added Van Zyl.
Had Van Zyl won the title, he would have become the sixth South African, the most by any country in the history of Qatar Masters.
Van Zyl hopes to take the positives from Doha to Dubai, where the final
leg of Desert Swing will start on Thursday.
“I’ll definitely take this confidence to Dubai. It’s a good start to the season, and with a little bit more fireworks, hopefully it continues in Dubai”.