Madsen claims maiden European tour win in South Africa
Schwartzel squandered lead to finish tied fourth
Morten Orum Madsen of Denmark poses with the trophy after winning the South African Open Championship at Glendower Golf Clubon a score of 19 under par in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images
Denmark’s Morten Orum Madsen was victorious at the South African Open as Charl Schwartzel squandered the lead to finish tied fourth in Ekurhuleni.
Madsen, claiming his maiden European Tour title, posted five birdies in his final-round 67 to finish on 19 under par, two shots ahead of South Africans Jbe Kruger (65) and Hennie Otto (68).
Their compatriot Schwartzel, former US Masters champion and tournament favourite, was at the top of the leaderboard by a shot at the start of the day and had a three-shot lead at one point, He ended fourth on 16 under after a 71, alongside Italy’s Marco Crespi (70).
“It’s been an amazing day,” said Madsen afterwards. “I don’t really know right now [how I feel]. It’s kind of cliched to say it hasn’t really sunk in, but it really hasn’t.
On Schwartzel, Madsen said: “I had a great back nine but unfortunately for him, he struggled. On a couple of holes he had some bad breaks. Luckily for me I was there to capitalise.” Schwartzel birdied the second, third and fourth to go three clear on 18 under before dropping three shots on the sixth. He double-bogeyed the 10th, but then made three birdies, although it was not enough to challenge for victory.
Otto experienced a major slump, bogeying the 15th and double bogeying the 16th to slip out of contention.
Simon Thornton, the only Irishman still involved, shot a final round 72 to finish one over par.