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