Stenson eases to Sun City victory

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson won the Nedbank Golf Challenge by nine strokes at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City on Sunday.

Stenson carded a four-under-par 68 in the final round to finish on 21-under-par 267. American Kenny Perry, who fired a day’s best 65 to finish on 276 was second.

The 32-year-old Stenson, who began the day with an eight-shot lead, had no telling challengers as he steered clear of any bogeys until the last hole. He registered just one birdie on the front nine but sunk four more birdies on the back nine.

Stenson said he felt confident of winning the tournament from the middle of the third round.

”From the middle of yesterday’s [Saturday] round I felt it was heading the right way for sure. Eight shots is obviously a huge lead but you still have to play well to maintain that,” Stenson told a news conference.

”The last thing I needed was a couple of bogeys early on, so I just tried to give myself birdie chances. It ended up being a nice comfortable round today.

Stenson, winner of the 2007 WGC Matchplay Championship, said his Sun City victory was among his best.

”It’s among my best performances. It’s fantastic to win by such a large margin, nine shots, I’ve never done that before. I am honoured to be on a trophy with all these great names from the past.”

Stenson’s playing partner Robert Karlsson could make no inroads on his lead as he picked up just one birdie in a 72 that secured him third place on nine-under-par 279.

Perry was well served by his power game as he eagled the second hole and then birdied the fourth, 11th and 14th holes before finishing strongly with birdies on the last two holes.

Stenson’s score has only been bettered by local favourites Ernie Els, who fired a 25-under-par 263 in 1999, and Nick Price, who won in 1993 with a total of 264. — Reuters

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