The 17-year-old Milnerton junior looked to be cruising to victory after a trio of birdies at five, six and seven, but as the players headed down the back nine, they were met with the full force of a rampant south-westerly wind and sweeping rain.
“For most of the back nine, we had the wind and rain into us and I had to use every skill I’ve learned in the wind to combat that three-to-four club wind,” Filippi said.
“After I dropped shots at 11 and 14, I must admit that I thought about losing the tournament at Fancourt last year. I learned a lot from that event. Everyone was battling in the conditions, though, so I just kept myself patient and focussed on playing hole-by-hole and not getting ahead of myself.”
Filippi reached 18 with a three shot lead and decided to take the safest option and lay up.
“I had 20 metres to the pin and I hit a good chip into the wind, but it pulled up short and rolled all the way back down the slope,” he said. “I had to fire again, and this time I got on the green, two-putted for double bogey and still walked off the winner.
“The three birdies early in the round definitely made a difference to my mental approach. I had some shots in hand and I just needed to play clever golf to win. I didn’t do anything fancy; I just focussed on playing regulation golf tee to green.
“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to sport psychologist Theo Bezuidenhout and my coach Grant Hepburn, because they armed me with the mental strength to get through the rough patches and I also want to thank the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation for all the support. I don’t think anyone can appreciate just how happy I am at this moment that I’ve thrown the monkey off my back.”
Lamprecht closed with a 76 to take second on four over 148, while Bryce Leach from Central Gauteng moved into sole third at 153 after closing with a 74.
FINAL RESULT (top 10)