Home player George Coetzee claimed his first European Tour title with a three shot victory in the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club in South Africa.

Coetzee, who had 24 top-10 finishes to his name on the European Tour prior to this week, secured the win in his 107th event on the circuit.

“I don’t know what I’m feeling,” he said. “I’ve been waiting a while and I started doubting, so I’m very happy.”

Coetzee began the final round four strokes behind compatriots Justin Walters and Thomas Aiken. But the 27-year-old birdied all three par fives on the front nine then birdied the 10th hole to move to the front of the pack.

He saved par on the 11th, then an errant tee shot on the 15th rebounded off a tree and ended back on the fairway. From there he found the green and holed out for another birdie. Three pars to finish and a clubhouse total of 19-under-par was set.


Walters had a chance to match that number, but needed an eagle at the home hole. He couldn’t manage it and the win was Coetzee’s.

There was consolation for Walters in that, together with Coetzee and Jin Jeong of South Korea, he has earned a place in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool this July.

“It’s the Major we’ve all dreamed of playing in since we were kids,” Walters said.

Tyrrell Hatton of England closed with a 66 to tie Walters and Jeong for second place. He missed out on one of the three Open invites because his World Ranking of 276th was lower than that of Jeong and Walters.

The European Tour remains in South Africa this week for the Africa Open at the East London Golf Club.

Joburg Open
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC, Johannesburg, South Africa
Feb 6-9, purse €1,300,000

1   George Coetzee (RSA)   65   68   69   66   268   €206,050
T2   Tyrrell Hatton (Eng)   67   69   69   66   271   €101,097
T2   Jin Jeong (Kor)      65   69   66   71   271   €101,097
T2   Justin Walters (RSA)   64   70   64   73   271   €101,097
T5   Thomas Aiken (RSA)   70   65   63   74   272   €42,510
T5   Matthew Baldwin (Eng)   68   69   68   67   272   €42,510

T5   Alvaro Quiros (Esp)   69   68   69   66   272   €42,510
T5   Andy Sullivan (Eng)   66   72   69   65   272   €42,510
9   Danie Van Tonder (RSA) 65   72   69   67   273   €28,080
T10   Seve Benson (Eng)   68   68   70   68   274   €21,407
T10   Robert Jan-Derksen (Ned) 65   74   67   68   274   €21,407
T10   Ross Fisher (Eng)      69   69   68   68   274   €21,407
T10   David Horsey (Eng)   70   63   70   71   274   €21,407
T10   Roope Kakko (Fin)   70   64   67   73   274   €21,407
T10   Anthony Wall (Eng)   69   70   66   69   274   €21,407

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Where next?
PGA Tour –
Jimmy Walker wins Pebble Beach Pro-Am