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Sterne claims Joburg Open title
Last updated: 11th February 2013
A faultless final round ensured Richard Sterne strolled to a seven-shot victory at the Joburg Open.
Having shared the overnight lead with Trevor Fisher Jr, Sterne's 64 saw the South African sprint away from the field as Fisher Jr crumbled, leaving Sterne to register a record total of 27 under. Charl Schwartzel was the next best all the way back on 20 under.
The win ends a long wait for Sterne who hasn't claimed any silverware since 2008, with his 2010 and 2011 seasons heavily curtailed by a back injury.
There was no stopping the South African on Sunday though as he notched up five birdies on the front nine and a further three on the closing nine, with not a bogey in sight. Indeed, the Pretoria-born player only dropped one shot all week.
Conversely, his playing partner, Fisher Jr, got off to a fast start with an eagle at the first, but then lost his way with four bogeys and a double-bogey at the 11th leaving him to stutter to a 74 and a share of sixth spot.
Schwartzel's 66 saw him finish on 20 under, enough for second place, with Ricardo Santos (who equalled Sterne's 64), Felipe Aguilar and George Coetzee a further shot back.
"I didn't think I was going to be out for so long, but six months became a year and then almost two," Sterne said of his injury woe.
"The only thing that kept me going was all the other South Africans. They kept winning a lot of events and I believed that if they could do it then I could.
"I'd like to get back into all the Majors - that's where I want to be playing," Sterne added.
"It's a big year. I've got off to such a nice start so hopefully I can keep it going.
"I played really good golf today and the whole week really. It was a pretty special day."
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which this week hosts the Nelson Mandela Championship for the first time, boasts two unique Championship golf courses.
the annual venue for the Nedbank Golf Challenge is ranked in the top 60 in the world and in the top two in South Africa.
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