Dawson denied again after playoff battle in South Africa

​Ireland's Robin Dawson had to settle for the runner-up spot at the Cape Province Open in South Africa after losing out in a dramatic four-hole play-off

  • 17 February 2017

​Caption: Ireland international Robin Dawson - image courtesy of Golffile

Fortune did not favour the brave as Robin Dawson suffered a play-off defeat at the fourth tie hole of the Cape Province Open in South Africa.
Second at the South African Amateur Championship a week earlier, Dawson continued his fine form at Kingswood Golf Estate as he carded rounds of 69 and 71 to reach the top of the leaderboard on the final day.

Dawson was not alone at the top. South African duo Garrick Higgo and Brandon Cloete were level with the touring Irishman on 10 under par. Overnight leader Alex Gleeson (Castle) missed out on a place in the play-off by just one shot, as did Stuart Grehan (Tullamore/MU), who raced up the leaderboard with rounds of 69 and 67.

In the quest for the title, Cloete was eliminated at the second tie hole. That left Dawson and Higgo battling it out in the dusk. After both players birdied the third tie hole – the par-five 18th – they proceeded to the par-three second where Higgo secured a dramatic victory.

Both players had missed the green with their tee shots and after Dawson pitched on, Higgo holed a miraculous parachute shot with his third to steal the most unlikely par. The title was his when Dawson’s par putt stayed above ground.

It was a bitter defeat for the Maynooth University scholar but after two successive runner-up finishes, Dawson has got his season off to a brilliant start.

Despite not converting his 36-hole lead, it was another good week for Alex Gleeson, as he finished just one shot behind. The AIG Irish Close Champion shared fourth place with Stuart Grehan on nine under.

Rising star Kevin LeBlanc (The Island/MU) finished inside the top 20 although he had moved into contention during the third round only to fade down the stretch.