South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout wins again on home soil
Bezuidenhout, who won the Alfred Dunhill Championship seven days ago, carded a closing 69 at Gary Player Country Club to finish 18 under par, five shots clear of Welshman Jamie Donaldson.
“It’s unbelievable to stand here with the SA Open win,” Bezuidenhout told Sky Sports. “It’s any South African golfer’s dream to win it, their national tournament. It’s unreal.”
Bezuidenhout took a five-shot lead into the final round, but followed seven straight pars with a bogey on the eighth after finding the water with his approach.
With Donaldson covering the same stretch in two under the gap was briefly down to two shots, only for the former Ryder Cup star to bogey the ninth in the group ahead.
Bezuidenhout got up and down from a greenside bunker to save par on the same hole and then made the ideal start to the back nine with a hat-trick of birdies from the 10th.
Donaldson, whose last victory came on the Asian Tour five years ago, refused to throw in the towel and birdied the 11th, 14th and 16th, but bogeyed the 17th moments after Bezuidenhout had birdied the 16th.
“I’ve worked hard today. The front nine didn’t really go my way but I dug deep to come out with the win,” Bezuidenhout said.
“It was difficult to stay patient and my second shot on the eighth caught a gust (of wind) and came up short, but that was a massive bogey save. My caddie said to me, ‘just try to shoot under par on the back nine and that should get it done’.
“The birdie on 10 was massive, the second putt on 11 was huge and the putt on 12 was a bonus – I was just trying to get it close and I made it.
“I knew I just needed to make pars coming in and I did it and I’m really, really chuffed to be standing here as a winner.”
Donaldson, whose last win came on the Asian Tour five years ago, had the consolation of moving from 111th to 63rd on the Race to Dubai to qualify for next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
“I played really solid today,” Donaldson said. “The pins were tucked away and the greens were firmer and faster so it was hard to get close.
“I needed to birdie 17 and maybe eagle the last to have an outside opportunity but Christiaan seemed to be pulling away, I couldn’t seem to catch him. But overall quite happy.”
Luke Donald expects Europe to be Ryder Cup underdogs despite home dominance
The United States cruised to a record 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits in 2021.
England’s Charley Hull triumphs in Texas to end six-year wait for LPGA title
The victory was the 26-year-old’s first on the LPGA Tour since prevailing at the CME Group Tour Championship in November 2016.
Ryan Fox remembers Shane Warne after St Andrews success
The New Zealander secured his third DP World Tour title in front of his family with a one-shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Romain Langasque equals course record to lead Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
The Frenchman recovered from an early bogey with two eagles and eight birdies to reach 11 under par.
Rory McIlroy bemoans ‘ugly year’ and seeks solution to divide in golf world
The arrival of Saudi-backed LIV Golf series has fractured the game in 2022.
On this day in 2014 – Europe retain Ryder Cup with Gleneagles victory
The Gleneagles victory was Europe’s eighth win in 10 matches.
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.