Home player George Coetzee won the Tshwane Open at Pretoria CC in South Africa. He held off England’s Sam Horsfield and Finn Mikko Korhonen to claim the title for a second time.
George Coetzee, a member at Pretoria Country Club, held his nerve through two rain delays in the final round of the Tshwane Open to fire a closing 67 at his home club and win by two shots from Englishman Sam Horsfield.
Coetzee began the final round two ahead of the field but things changed quickly on Sunday as early bogeys saw the home favourite drop two behind Mikko Korhonen.
But the South African rallied and produced an incredible display of putting around the turn to regain control of the tournament. He made five birdies in eight holes from the eighth to establish a three-shot lead with just three holes to play.
Thunder and lightning then halted proceedings for some 90 minutes and the leading players then had to deal with a further 20-minute delay. But Coetzee kept his cool and closed out the victory, his second in the Tshwane Open. It was his fourth on the European Tour, all of his titles have come on African soil.
“The crowd were amazing, I don’t think I could have done it without everybody out here supporting me the whole week,” Coetzee said of the home fans. “On the eighth hole I started making everything, me and the greens became one. That really made it easier for me to not worry so much about where I’m hitting it.”
Sam Horsfield finished with three birdies to sneak ahead of Mikko Korhonen into second place. The Englishman won the 2017 European Tour Q School and this finish will go a long way to securing his status on the circuit.
It was another excellent performance from Mikko Korhonen in this tournament. The Finn was runner-up in the Tshwane Open of 2017. He still had a chance for victory in this year’s event midway through the back nine but bogeys on the 15th and 17th holes ended his hopes.
South African Daniel Van Tonder and Sebastian Gros of France both finished strongly with rounds of 65 to move up into a tie for fourth place with Chile’s Felipe Aguilar.
Pretoria CC, Waterkloof, South Africa
Purse: €1,050,000 Par: 71
1 George Coetzee (RSA) 67 64 68 67 266 €163,607
2 Sam Horsfield (Eng) 68 69 64 67 268 €113,544
3 Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 68 64 69 68 269 €76,591
T4 Daniel Van Tonder (RSA) 67 72 66 65 270 €43,284
T4 Sebastien Gros (Fra) 69 70 66 65 270 €43,284
T4 Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 65 67 71 67 270 €43,284
7 Scott Jamieson (Sco) 67 69 67 68 271 €30,540
T8 Pedro Oriel (Esp) 71 69 71 62 273 €23,844
T8 Thomas Aiken (RSA) 65 71 67 70 273 €23,844
10 Erik Van Rooyen (RSA) 68 68 67 71 274 €20,231
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage