Home-favourite Trevor Immelman overcame a flurry of late bogeys to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge by one shot from Justin Rose. The South African (pictured) delighted the large crowd at Sun City by defeating the recently crowned European Tour Order of Merit winner on the final green.
The final three holes were the stuff of nightmares for both players. However, it was Immelman who just about held his nerve the better, as his bogey-bogey-bogey finish put him one ahead of Rose who could only manage a double on 18.
With the scores level, Rose?s pulled drive at the last spelt trouble as he was forced to hack out of the rough before flying the green with his approach. The South African looked to have it sewn up, sitting just off the back of the green in two but a duffed chip opened things up once again for Rose. However, when Immelman chipped to 2ft and Rose could only manage three from the back of the green it was finally all over.
“It just shows what nerves can do,” said Immelman. ?This event is what we in South Africa have always regarded as Africa’s major. Ever since I was a kid I’ve watched it on television.?
Elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, England’s Richard Finch claimed his maiden European Tour title at the New Zealand Open. Finch, who just managed to hold on to his card with a top-10 finish in the Mallorca Classic at the end of last season, closed with a level-par 72 to finish three shots clear of Australia’s Steven Bowditch and Paul Sheehan.
But arguably the story of the event belonged to Bob Charles who, at 71, shot his age or better in the final three rounds to finish tied for 23rd. The New Zealand legend, who won the Open Championship in 1963, finished ahead of the likes of England’s Jamie Donaldson and Sweden’s Daniel Chopra.
-16 T Immelman (SA)
-15 J Rose (ENG)
-11 E Els (SA)
-7 H Stenson (SWE)
Michael Hill New Zealand Open
-14 R Finch (ENG)
-11 S Bowditch (AUS)
-11 P Sheehan (AUS)
-10 S Jeffress (AUS)
-10 M Millar (AUS)
-10 A Noren (SWE)
-10 C Parry (AUS)