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Verdonk proves his strength at the NewGiza Pyramids Challenge

NewGiza Pyramids Challenge 2024

In a thrilling duel with Frenchman Marius Cara (-11), the tall Aydan Verdonk (-12) wins the NewGiza Pyramids Challenge and celebrates his first victory on the Pro Golf Tour. Slovakia's Tadeas Tetak (-10) finished third at the NewGiza Golf Club.


Cairo, Egypt - 1.92 metres tall, weighing 120 kilograms - if Aydan Verdonk didn't appear in his work clothes, you certainly wouldn't recognize the Dutchman as a professional golfer. Due to his massive stature and long drives, the 27-year-old is often compared to long-hitter and major winner Bryson DeChambeau in his home country. Verdonk is still some way off a major title - but he may have taken his first step towards it at the NewGiza Pyramids Challenge 2024.

In an extremely exciting final, a bogey on the 18th was enough for the giant from the north-west of the Netherlands to beat Frenchman Marius Cara by one stroke. The two played a high-class duel in round three, with Verdonk coming out on top. "He was only one shot behind me early in the round and we battled throughout the day," said Verdonk after rounds of 67, 66 and 71 on the tournament course at the beautiful NewGiza Golf Club. He went into the final round with a three-shot lead, but had two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine.

Leaderboard: All results at a glance

Order of Merit of the 2024 Season

Cara, on the other hand, remained bogey-free for the first 17 holes. It was only on the 18th that he made a serious mistake, first missing his drive and then conceding a three-putt. "I was really nervous," Verdonk admitted afterwards. "I just didn't want to do anything crazy on the 18th." A two putt from three meters sealed the victory for the man who generally feels very comfortable on the courses in Egypt. "The courses suit me. I can hit the ball a long way and that works quite well here. If the putter is working, I can always expect good results."

Verdonk's strong physique can be traced back to his sporting past. As a youngster, he was considered a top talent in soccer goalkeeping for many years. When he didn't make the breakthrough here, he switched to rugby and played for the national team. Due to injuries, however, he also had to give up this career and so he was able to concentrate exclusively on golf. The body of a rugby player remained. The power too. His drives easily fly 280 meters.

But you don't win professional tournaments with strength alone, Verdonk knows that too: "My short game this week was incredible. I made so many good up-and-downs. And then it's just about playing the greens on the right side." A lot of things went right at the NewGiza Pyramids Challenge 2024. Thanks to his first success on the Pro Golf Tour, Verdonk takes the lead in the Order of Merit ahead of Belgian James Meyer de Beco. But the celebrations will only begin the day after the victory. "I'm going to rest today. It's been an exhausting few weeks. Tomorrow is my brother's birthday. At home, everyone will be hugged and I will definitely celebrate the victory."

The Pro Golf Tour starts its journey through Europe from April 24 to 26 in Haugschlag.