Jamieson toasts Durban play-off win
Golf round-up:Scotland’s Scott Jamieson won the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship, opening event of the new European Tour season, in South Africa.In a tournament cut to 36 holes and on a Royal Durban course reduced to a par-65 because of saturated fairways, Jamieson shot a second-round 57 and then beat England’s Steve Webster and Spaniard Edoardo de la Riva in a play-off.
De la Riva bogeyed the first extra hole and then, in fast-fading light, Webster, the only one of the trio to have won on the circuit before, did the same when they returned to the 18th tee.
Jamieson, whose previous best finish was third, will not go into the Tour record books for his 57, however. Because of the course conditions it will not officially count, but that will not matter to the 29-year-old ranked 167th in the world.
He was not even in the top 60 after his opening round of 66 and admitted afterwards: “Starting the day I probably didn’t think I would be standing here holding the trophy.”
All three players involved in the play-off finished their rounds by lunchtime and had to wait all afternoon to see if anybody could beat their seven-under totals of 123.
South Africa’s Tim Clark had the best chance, but double-bogeyed the 17th when joint leader.
De la Riva, who less than a fortnight ago came through the Tour qualifying school in joint ninth place, was left to rue not only failing to get up and down from a bunker in the play-off, but also a closing bogey in his second-round 61.
Webster, who had the second of his two victories in Portugal five years ago, produced a 60 and almost clinched victory on the first extra hole when his 30-foot birdie putt came up just short.
Next time round, though, he could not recover from pulling his drive into thick rough.
Earlier, Jamieson could have won it outright on the 305-yard ninth, his last, when he drove the green, but just missed a 12-foot eagle attempt.
He had earlier gone to the turn in a five-under 26 that included four birdie twos.
“I knew I needed a fast start and was lucky enough to get that,” Jamieson added after also being presented with a framed drawing of Mandela.
“It’s an honour to win a tournament like this. Getting your name on any European trophy is a fantastic achievement, but it’s a bit more special with someone like Nelson.”
Joint fourth a stroke behind were Clark, German Max Kieffer, Dane Morten Orum Madsen and England’s Matthew Nixon.
Peter Lawrie finished on one under after a 63 in his second round, with Damien McGrane a shot behind on level par after a 64.
Australian Open:Peter Senior became the oldest winner in Australian Open history after battling gale-force winds on a brutal final day to beat Brendan Jones by one shot in fading light at The Lakes in Sydney.
On a dramatic day that saw play suspended for three hours after 80kph winds made the course unplayable, the consistent Senior carded a level-par 72 to finish at four under for the championship.
The 53-year-old made his first birdie of the day at the par-four 10th to join England’s Justin Rose at the top of the leaderboard and claimed the outright lead with another birdie at the 12th.
Senior then held his nerve with six straight pars on the way home to hold off Jones by the narrowest of margins.
“It was probably one of the toughest days I’ve ever seen on a golf course,” Senior said. “I really thought these days were over but golf is a funny game. The key to today’s round was that I never put any pressure on myself.
“If the conditions had been better the better players would have won, but these are conditions I thrive in, where I just battle it out. As short as I am, I don’t feel the wind as much as others.”
It was an impressive performance from Jones (71), who pushed Senior to the limit with two back-nine birdies and an eagle to card the only sub-par round of the final 17 pairings today.
Cameron Percy (73) finished in third at two under, one clear of Kim Felton (72), Kieran Pratt (75) and Rose (76).
It was a miserable day for the world number four, who made six bogeys and failed to post a single birdie in the final pairing.
New Zealander Michael Hendry was one of only six golfers to break par on day four, signing for a 71 to share seventh spot with Scott Gardiner (73) and Stuart Appleby (75) at level par for the tournament.
Pre-tournament favourite Adam Scott battled to a closing 76 to finish at two over, one clear of overnight leader John Senden who had a horror day on his way to a 10-over 82.
Defending champion Greg Chalmers (77) had a disappointing end to his defence to finish alongside Geoff Ogilvy (77) on four over.
American veteran Tom Watson fired the round of the day in calm morning conditions, a three-under 69, to finish in a share of 28th spot at five over.
Thailand Golf Championship:South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel shot a final round of seven-under-par 65 to clinch his first victory in 20 months at Chonburi.
The 11-shot win was his first title since the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta. He finished 25 under overall, after eight birdies in his final round.
Bubba Watson and local player Thitiphun Chuayprakong were tied for second, with Spain’s Sergio Garcia two shots further back in fourth.
“Winning is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be,” Schwartzel told reporters. “It’s been quite hard work and it’s been a difficult year, especially in the middle. It's nice to put things in place and get the win I've been looking for.”