SOUTH AFRICAN PRO­DUCES AN EX­CEP­TIONAL 66 IN THE FI­NAL ROUND TO TAKE HOME ‘AFRICA’S MA­JOR’ YES­TER­DAY

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“JUST awe­some and def­i­nitely one of the big­gest vic­to­ries of my ca­reer,” is how Bran­den Grace de­scribed his feel­ings just mo­ments af­ter win­ning the 2017 Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge here at the

Gary Player Coun­try Club yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

The 29-year-old shot a stun­ning six-un­der 66 for a score of 11-un­der par, to win by a stroke, for his first

Euro­pean Tour ti­tle this year and eighth on tour since 2012.

“It’s awe­some … it’s the one event as a young South

African that you really want to win,” he said af­ter go­ing around the Pi­lans­berg lay­out bo­gey-free for the first time this week.

He ear­lier recorded rounds of 68, 75 and 68.

“This is Africa’s Ma­jor, it’s a spe­cial place with a lot of his­tory. There are some great names on that trophy and I’m glad I’ve been able to get my name on it, too.”

Leader af­ter the third round, Scott Jamieson, fin­ished sec­ond on his own af­ter a two-un­der 70, for a score of 10-un­der par, while France’s Vic­tor Dubuisson was third af­ter also post­ing a 70 for a nine-un­der par score. ies would come. The good thing was I was hit­ting it closer than they were (Jamieson and Dubuisson).

“Most of them were good putts; the one on 16 was spe­cial.”

Hav­ing once again come out on top of an­other star-stud­ded field, Grace will hope for more good things at the tour fi­nale in Dubai later this week, and in the Ma­jors next year.

“This is def­i­nitely one of my big­gest wins and know­ing I needed my best to get it done and then do­ing it was good,” he said. “I know now I can do it again.”

Grace be­came the first South African in 10 years to win the tour­na­ment af­ter Trevor Im­mel­man tri­umphed here back in 2007.

China’s Li Hao­tong fin­ished fourth af­ter mak­ing eight birdies in a blem­ish­free round of 64 – the low­est of the week – for a score of seven-un­der par.

Sadly the rest of the South African chal­lenge faded on the fi­nal day, with lucky last-in-man Dar­ren Fichardt fin­ish­ing strong­est of the lo­cal con­tin­gent.

He shot a fi­nal round 68 which in­cluded five birdies and a bo­gey to be at five-un­der over­all and a tied-sixth fin­ish.

Louis Oosthuizen fin­ished tiedeighth, af­ter a fi­nal round 70 for a fou­run­der score, while Haydn Por­te­ous and Chark Schwartzel were tied-12th , two-un­der par, af­ter shoot­ing 73 and 72 re­spec­tively.

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