Sweden’s Alex Noren produced a superb final round of 63 to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa by six shots from Jeunghun Wang of South Korea.
Alex Noren of Sweden began the final day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player six shots off the lead held by South Korea’s Jeunghun Wang. But Noren raced out of the blocks and, by the time he reached the turn in just 30 strokes, he had moved to the top of the leaderboard.
Already three times a champion on the 2016 European Tour, Noren then consolidated his advantage with an eagle at the 10th and a chip-in birdie on the 11th. Those gains took him to 14-under-par and nine-under for the day.
At that stage he looked to have the tournament under control and a round of 59 seemed possible. But the 34-year-old dropped a shot at the 14th and, when Wang birdied the hole, the Swede’s advantage was pegged back to just two.
But Noren wasn’t to be denied. He made a key birdie at the 16th and Wang fell away with bogeys on three of his last four holes. In the end Noren won comfortably with Wang holding on to solo second.
Five players tied for third: Alejandro Canizares, Victor Dubuisson, Ricardo Gouveia, Branden Grace and Andy Sullivan.
3 Talking points from the Nedbank Golf Challenge
1 – This was Alex Noren’s fourth victory of the 2016 European Tour season. Before this week he had already claimed wins in the Scottish Open, the European Masters and the British Masters. This triumph sees him climb to third place on the Race to Dubai standings, just 700,000 points behind leader Henrik Stenson, with only the DP World Tour Championship to play. The victory should also push Noren into the top-10 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Alex Noren fairway bunker tips:
2 – In the battle for the number 1 position on the Race to Dubai standings, Henrik Stenson made a key birdie on the 18th hole at the Gary Player Country Club. The Swede finished the week in eighth place and slightly increased his advantage over Danny Willett at the top of the rankings. Willett finished strongly in Sun City to stay in touch with Stenson with one event to play.
3 – A competition within the competition was played out in Sun City as the players fought to make it into the top-60 on the Race to Dubai rankings and so qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next week. Ricardo Gouveia of Portugal and Frenchman Victor Dubuisson played their way in with tied third place finishes, Jaco Van Zyl of South Africa also gained a spot in the field. Just missing out was Rafael Jacquelin of France. Despite a good effort in the final round, he came up just shy – 61st on the standings.
Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player
Gary Player CC, Sun City, South Africa
Purse €6,300,000, par 72
1 Alex Noren (Swe) 69 67 75 63 274 €1,048,523
2 Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 68 73 64 75 280 €699,012
T3 Alejandro Canizares (Esp) 71 68 74 68 281 €276,812
T3 Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 69 75 69 68 281 €276,812
T3 Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 74 68 72 67 281 €276,812
T3 Branden Grace (RSA) 71 69 71 70 281 €276,812
T3 Andy Sullivan (Eng) 72 69 68 72 281 €276,812
8 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 69 74 69 70 282 €157,279
9 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 72 66 70 75 283 €138,406
10 Jaco Van Zyl (RSA) 69 69 74 72 284 €125,823
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage