Tommy Fleetwood eagles his way to playoff victory in South Africa

English golfer has Race to Dubai title in his sights after winning €2.25m pot at Sun City

England’s  Tommy Fleetwood  poses with the trophy after winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Counrty Club  in Sun City, South Africa. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

England’s Tommy Fleetwood poses with the trophy after winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Counrty Club in Sun City, South Africa. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

 

Tommy Fleetwood believes it would be “beautiful” to win the Race to Dubai for a second time after putting himself in contention with a surprise victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City.

The Englishman’s first win since January 2018 came after he beat Marcus Kinhult at the first extra hole in a play-off at the Gary Player Country Club, earning him a cheque of €2.25 million , the largest on the European Tour.

Fleetwood is now second in the Race to Dubai standings, behind Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, going into the final event that starts on Thursday, the DP World Tour Championships at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.

After winning the Race to Dubai in 2017, asked about the prospect of triumphing again, Fleetwood said: “It would be beautiful, wouldn’t it. It would be amazing.

“It’s such a great, great thing and a feeling to be playing with a chance to win the Race to Dubai in the last event.

“Everybody starts the Tour at the start of the season to get there, so to be one of the guys that can actually finish at the top is very special.”

Fleetwood went into the final round in Sun City seemingly out of contention as he trailed overnight leader Zander Lombard by six shots on five under.

But while Fleetwood’s closing 65 included a remarkable three eagles and four birdies, as well as three bogeys, South African Lombard fired a miserable 77 that included a double bogey and four other bogeys, dropping him to six under.

Wiesberger, who could have won the Race to Dubai a week early with a victory, eventually tied for third on eight under alongside Belgium’s Thomas Detry and Australian Jason Scrivener.

A 68 from Kinhult saw him finish level on 12 under with Fleetwood and force the playoff, which Fleetwood won with a par at the 18th, while the Swede bogeyed.

“Winning honestly wasn’t on the agenda at the start of the day, probably not,” added Fleetwood.

“It was just about putting a good round together and moving on to next week. But it [winning] feels good. Emotional. It has been a long time coming, and I’m not one to complain, but I really did want to win something.

“I made a great up and down on one and without that the day could have been completely different. I was also really proud of how I played 17 and 18.

“I was getting more and more nervous [as the round went on]. Being a golfer these days you have the chance at a young age to set your family up for life – it’s just really cool when you win a tournament.”

Pádraig Harrington carded a one-under 71 in the final round to finish in 20th position and pick up a cheque for €57,000.

FINAL LEADERBOARD
British unless stated, par 72

276 Tommy Fleetwood 69 69 73 65, Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 69 69 70 68. Fleetwood won playoff at first hole

280 Jason Scrivener (Aus) 69 70 71 70, Thomas Detry (Bel) 66 71 69 74, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 71 69 70 70

281 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 63 72 71 75, Lee Westwood 68 73 69 71

282 Robert Macintyre 73 76 65 68, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 68 65 72 77

284 Kalle Samooja (Fin) 72 71 72 69, Joost Luiten (Ned) 72 70 69 73, Matthew Fitzpatrick 71 69 73 71

285 Jorge Campillo (Esp) 69 72 74 70, Tom Lewis 71 73 69 72, Nacho Elvira (Esp) 70 70 71 74, Aaron Rai 70 69 71 75

286 Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 69 70 71 76, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 74 70 69 73, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 74 71 69 72

287 Pádraig Harrington (Ire) 71 72 73 71

288 Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 67 73 72 76, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 70 72 72 74, Gavin Green (Mal) 74 70 73 71

289 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 76 73 71 69, Paul Waring 69 71 78 71, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 74 70 71 74, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 70 70 70 79, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 72 73 72 72, Alvaro Quiros (Esp) 70 70 72 77

290 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 70 72 73 75, Adri Arnaus (Esp) 74 73 72 71, Oliver Wilson 69 72 67 82, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 72 73 74 71, George Coetzee (Rsa) 69 73 73 75, Romain Langasque (Fra) 73 74 72 71, Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 69 72 73 76, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 70 73 70 77, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 73 76 72 69

291 Branden Grace (Rsa) 74 75 72 70, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 73 75 71 72, Ian Poulter 74 71 73 73

292 Steven Brown 73 75 69 75, Richie Ramsay 72 78 70 72

293 Matt Wallace 73 74 71 75, Alex Noren (Swe) 73 69 73 78, Chris Paisley 75 74 72 72, Scott Jamieson 73 71 72 77

294 Scott Hend (Aus) 77 73 70 74, Justin Harding (Rsa) 73 78 69 74, Jordan Smith 73 74 72 75, Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 76 72 72 74

295 Haotong Li (Chn) 73 76 71 75, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 72 71 72 80, Ernie Els (Rsa) 68 81 72 74, Matthew Southgate 72 79 70 74

296 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 70 74 78 74

297 Ryan Fox (Nzl) 74 75 74 74

298 David Lipsky (USA) 72 74 77 75

299 Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 72 75 76 76

300 Richard Sterne (Rsa) 69 79 77 75

302 Andy Sullivan 75 73 74 80

303 Andrea Pavan (Ita) 77 74 80 72

311 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 81 75 75 80

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