Bezuidenhout holds his nerve while frontrunners fall at Leopard Creek

South African stays steady on back nine to win Alfred Dunhill Championship by four shots

 Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa celebrates with the trophy following victory in the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Golf Club in Malelane, South Africa on Sunday. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa celebrates with the trophy following victory in the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Golf Club in Malelane, South Africa on Sunday. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

 

Christiaan Bezuidenhout held his nerve to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship by four shots at Leopard Creek Country Club on Sunday, as the rest of the contenders faltered in a dramatic finish.

The 26-year-old South African took his second European Tour victory after birdies on the 14th and 15th holes helped him surge through a crowded leaderboard and end with a fourth-round 69 for a tournament total of 274.

Bezuidenhout, ranked 61 in the world, proved steady on the back nine as super-fast greens and tight pin positions proved the undoing of the other frontrunners.

Four golfers tied for second place, including American Sean Crocker, who was one shot behind the lead with a hole to play but hit his ball out of bounds twice on the 18th for a horror-show eight that put paid to his hopes.

Poland’s Adrian Meronk, who had led from the start of the tournament, South African teenager Jayden Schaper and Englishman Richard Bland also all finished on 10-under-par 278.

Meronk fell off the top of the leaderboard with only seven holes left to play after dropping three shots on successive holes, while the 19-year-old Schaper had a wild ride on the back nine with three birdies and six dropped shots.

Bland, 47, was within two shots of the lead at the start of the last nine holes in his bid to end 15 years and some 400 appearances on the Tour without success.

But a bogey on the 15th effectively ended his hopes, and he went into the clubhouse in fifth place only to be pulled up the leaderboard as the golfers behind him – save for Bezuidenhout – crumbled in the final straight.

Alfred Dunhill Championship

(Leopard Creek, British unless stated, par 72)

274 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 69 68 68 69

278 Richard Bland 67 67 74 70, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 65 66 71 76, Jayden Trey Schaper (Rsa) 69 67 67 75, Sean Crocker (USA) 70 68 68 72

279 Adri Arnaus (Spa) 70 67 69 73, Marcus Armitage 71 71 67 70, Robert Macintyre 72 70 70 67, Scott Jamieson 66 71 72 70, Alexander Levy (Fra) 70 72 68 69

280 Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 71 71 68 70

281 Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 71 68 72 70

282 Wil Besseling (Ned) 73 70 68 71, Oliver Wilson 69 69 74 70, Calum Hill 71 69 67 75, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 70 71 68 73

283 Dale Whitnell 70 72 71 70, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 72 68 69 74, Scott Vincent (Zim) 72 70 71 70

284 Joachim B Hansen (Den) 70 64 73 77, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 75 68 70 71, Oliver Farr 70 68 73 73

285 Brandon Stone (Rsa) 71 72 69 73, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 69 73 71 72

286 Cormac Sharvin 72 72 68 74, Hennie Du Plessis (Rsa) 72 71 71 72, Matthew Jordan 69 73 72 72, Richard McEvoy 71 70 71 74, Justin Walters (Rsa) 72 72 72 70, Johannes Veerman (USA) 71 71 70 74

287 Robin Roussel (Fra) 65 71 73 78, Oliver Bekker (Rsa) 73 69 71 74, Joost Luiten (Ned) 69 72 73 73, David Horsey 69 73 72 73

288 Julian Suri (USA) 71 69 68 80, Christiaan Basson (Rsa) 69 69 74 76, Jbe Kruger (Rsa) 69 72 72 75, Marcel Siem (Ger) 69 72 77 70

289 Chris Wood 69 73 72 75, Daniel Van Tonder (Rsa) 69 70 70 80, Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez (Spa) 68 75 72 74, Philip Eriksson (Swe) 74 67 76 72, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 74 69 74 72

290 James Kingston (Rsa) 71 68 74 77, Darius Van Driel (Ned) 73 71 73 73, Martin Rohwer (Rsa) 74 70 75 71

291 Anthony Michael (Rsa) 76 68 69 78, Garrick Porteous 71 72 77 71, Gavin Green (Mal) 68 74 73 76, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 71 73 72 75

292 Steven Brown 69 74 75 74, MJ Viljoen (Rsa) 73 69 74 76, Steve Surry 72 70 72 78

293 Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 70 72 77 74

294 Rourke Van Der Spuy (Rsa) 74 69 79 72, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 73 70 74 77

295 Ockie Strydom (Rsa) 68 70 78 79, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 73 69 79 74, James Du Preez (Rsa) 69 74 73 79

297 Dylan Naidoo (Rsa) 74 69 71 83, Jean-Paul Strydom (Rsa) 73 71 76 77, Trevor Fisher Jnr (Rsa) 73 71 75 78

298 Ruan Conradie (Rsa) 70 73 75 80

299 Benjamin Follet-Smith (Zim) 69 69 81 80, Eddie Pepperell 71 71 76 81

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.