Lee Westwood secures first European Tour title since 2014

Final round 64 gives 45-year-old three stroke win in Sun City with McIlroy 14 shots behind

Lee Westwood celebrates victory in South Africa. Photograph: EPA/STR

Lee Westwood celebrates victory in South Africa. Photograph: EPA/STR

 

An emotional Lee Westwood fought back tears after claiming his first European Tour title since 2014 with a third victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

Westwood fired an eagle and six birdies in a brilliant final round of 64 at Sun City to finish 15 under par and three shots ahead of overnight leader Sergio Garcia, with home favourite Louis Oosthuizen a shot further back after a double bogey on the 18th.

Rory McIlroy ended a disappointing week with a closing 71 - leaving him one under par for the tournament and 14 shots off the lead.

The victory is Westwood’s 24th on the European Tour and his first on the circuit since April 2014, although he did also win the Indonesian Masters on the Asian Tour in 2015.

The 45-year-old, who ruled himself out of the running to be Europe’s Ryder Cup captain in 2020 as he targets a record-equalling 11th appearance in the contest, previously won the Nedbank in 2010 and 2011 when the tournament was a 12-man invitational event.

“I’m a bit emotional to be honest, you’re never sure whether you’re going to be able to do it again,” Westwood told Sky Sports.

Rory McIlroy tries to play his way out of trouble during the final round in South Africa. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty
Rory McIlroy tries to play his way out of trouble during the final round in South Africa. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty

“Until now my emotions felt really under control all day, which is what I’ve been working hard on. I was just trying to hit fairways, stick to my game plan and hit it in the right places.

“I’ve got a bit of a process I’m going through with my golf swing, I’m starting to see better shots; the seven iron into 17 is probably one of the best shots I’ve ever hit and it all just worked.”

Westwood began the final round three shots behind Garcia, but made the ideal start with an eagle from three feet on the par-five second and also birdied the eighth to reach the turn in 33.

Further birdies on the 11th, 13th and 14th ensured he kept pace with Oosthuizen as the pair traded blows on the back nine before Oosthuizen crucially three-putted the 15th from the back of the green.

Westwood seized his opportunity with both hands and birdied the 16th and 17th to leave Oosthuizen needing to eagle the last to force a play-off, but a wayward drive led to a double-bogey six to drop the former Open champion into third place.

Collated final round scores & totals in the European Tour Nedbank Golf Challenge (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

273 Lee Westwood 71 69 69 64
276 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 64 71 71 70
277 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 69 67 72 69
280 Ross Fisher 71 72 67 70
281 Haotong Li (Chn) 71 70 75 65, Matt Wallace 69 72 73 67
282 Thomas Detry (Bel) 75 66 68 73
283 Aaron Rai 72 68 75 68
284 Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 74 67 71 72, Chris Paisley 72 75 70 67
285 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 75 70 75 65, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 72 71 70 72, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 73 72 72, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 71 70 75 69, Branden Grace (Rsa) 70 71 74 70
286 Jason Scrivener (Aus) 69 76 70 71, Ashun Wu (Chn) 69 73 74 70, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 73 74 72 67, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 68 70 71 77, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 74 72 71 69
287 Robert Rock 75 73 71 68, Rory McIlroy 72 71 73 71, Jordan Smith 79 69 72 67, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 76 69 71 71, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 73 67 75 72, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 77 69 70 71
288 Andrew Johnston 73 69 73 73, Joost Luiten (Ned) 72 75 70 71, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 72 74 71 71, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 74 70 74 70, Renato Paratore (Ita) 72 71 75 70, Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 74 75 71 68, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 74 73 71 70, Matthew Fitzpatrick 71 71 73 73
289 Lucas Herbert (Aus) 76 69 75 69, Paul Waring 72 76 72 69, Shane Lowry 71 69 74 75, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 75 69 70 75, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 69 75 69 76, Padraig Harrington 73 73 74 69
290 Andy Sullivan 69 74 74 73, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 68 78 70 74, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 74 68 77 71, George Coetzee (Rsa) 73 79 68 70, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 72 71 76 71
291 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 75 74 73 69, Sam Horsfield 73 72 74 72, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 71 78 71 71, Jens Dantorp (Swe) 77 73 69 72
292 Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 71 76 77 68, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 70 73 74 75, Danny Willett 78 71 72 71, Oliver Fisher 75 70 71 76
293 Nacho Elvira (Spa) 74 73 75 71
294 Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 76 77 69 72, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 74 79 69 72
295 Alexander Bjork (Swe) 75 75 73 72, Gavin Green (Mal) 75 70 78 72
296 Paul Dunne 78 71 72 75
297 Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 75 71 76 75, Stephen Gallacher 77 75 70 75, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 78 73 72 74, Richard McEvoy 72 76 75 74, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 74 71 75 77, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 77 69 73 78
299 Lee Slattery 74 73 74 78
300 Tom Lewis 75 71 78 76, Ashley Chesters 78 73 78 71
302 Thomas Bjorn (Den) 76 73 75 78, Matthew Southgate 80 73 71 78
303 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 74 74 83 72

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