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04 Dec 2011 17:47
World number three Lee Westwood of England retained his Nedbank Golf Challenge title on Sunday, despite shooting a one-over-par 73 in the final round.
Westwood began the final day with a seven-shot lead after the course-record 62 he fired in the third round, but he did not have the same sharpness to his game on Sunday.
The other players were unable to take advantage of that, however, with second-placed Robert Karlsson’s 68 being the best score of the fourth round, and Westwood could afford to bogey the last two holes and still win.
A record third-round 62 helped him to a 15-under total of 273—two strokes less than it took Swede Robert Karlsson to cover four rounds over the 7162-metre Gary Player Country Club at Sun City.
Karlsson holed a tricky final-green par putt for a 68, the best round of a day when he, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and Jason Dufner of the US tried in vain to catch Westwood, who led by seven shots overnight.
I love playing at Sun City
“Incredible! This is a special win and my mum and dad are here to see me do it”, said Westwood after notching up the 36th victory of his professional golf career.
“I was seven shots ahead going into the final round but no lead is ever big enough. It was a difficult situation choosing between a conservative and an aggressive approach.
Robert, Graeme and Jason came after me and made some early birdies—but I never lost confidence in my ability to win this tournament.
Westwood’s final-round 73 allowed him to finish on 15-under-par 273, earning the world number three the winner’s cheque of $1.25-million in the 12-man invitational event.
The 38-year-old became the sixth golfer after South Africans David Frost and Ernie Els, Zimbabwean Nick Price, American Jim Furyk and the late Seve Ballesteros of Spain to win back-to-back Nedbank Challenge titles.—Sapa-AFP, Reuters
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