South Africa’s Richard Sterne won the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek GC by a single shot from Sweden’s Johan Edfors and Robert Rock of England.
The diminutive 27-year-old began this calendar year with a win on home soil when he captured the Joburg Open on the 13th of January. And he finished 2008 in similar fashion, firing a closing round of 69 to finish on a total of -17 – good enough to secure his fourth European Tour title.
Sweden’s Johan Edfors made a final day surge up the leaderboard. His closing 66 included five birdies on the back nine and it looked for a time as though his efforts might be enough to force a playoff. After making bogeys at the 10th and 12th, Sterne looked to have played himself out of contention. But, he kept his composure and, with three birdies in a row from the 13th, took control of the tournament.
It was a solid week for England’s Robert Rock. He narrowly retained his card for 2009 after some solid late season performances. Earning a cheque for €92,100 for his efforts at Leopard Creek he’s leapt to 17th in the 2009 Race to Dubai.
The overnight leader Thomas Aiken of South Africa and his playing partner Len Mattiace of the USA fell foul of Leopard Creek’s notorious 18th hole. Both players went for the par-5 green in two but both found the water. Mirroring the actions of Ernie Els 12 months ago, Mattiace then proceeded to hit his fourth shot from the dropping zone only to see it roll through the green and into the water waiting at the back. He went on to record an eight and to drop out of the top-ten in the tournament.
Although Aiken did find the green with his fourth shot he missed the resulting par putt and had to be content finishing back in a tie for fourth with Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello.
Alfred Dunhill Championship
Leopard Creek GC, South Africa
Dec 11-14, purse €1,000,000, par 72
1 Richard Sterne (RSA) 68 66 68 69 271 €158,500
T2 Johan Edfors (Swe) 66 69 71 66 272 €92,100
T2 Robert Rock (Eng) 66 67 69 70 272 €92,100
T4 Thomas Aiken (RSA) 72 65 61 75 273 €45,200
T4 Rafael Cabrera Bello (Esp) 66 71 68 68 273 €45,200
T6 Keith Horne (RSA) 70 69 65 70 274 €32,450
T6 Alan McLean (Sco) 68 74 66 66 274 €32,450
T8 Robert Dinwiddie (Eng) 69 70 68 68 275 €19,350
T8 Oskar Henningsson (Swe) 69 64 69 73 275 €19,350
T8 Michael Jonzon (Swe) 65 72 70 68 275 €19,350
T8 David Lynn (Eng) 68 68 66 73 275 €19,350
T8 Tyrone Mordt (RSA) 68 67 68 72 275 €19,350
T8 Alvaro Velsaco (Esp) 68 69 67 71 275 €19,350
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only