Dan Bradbury Seals First Professional Victory In Third DP World Tour Start

Despite securing a spot at the Joburg Open via a sponsor's invite, Bradbury claimed the title by three shots from Sami Valimaki

Bradbury fist pumps
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dan Bradbury created a fairytale ending after securing his first professional victory at the Joburg Open. In just his third DP World Tour appearance, the 23-year-old had only secured his place in the tournament on the back of a sponsor's invite but, on the final day, he displayed a classy performance.

What's more, before the event, Bradbury was ranked world no.1397 and had no status on the DP World Tour. However, his antics in South Africa this week have secured him a DP World Tour exemption and a tee-time at next year's Open Championship.

Dan Bradbury poses with the trophy of the Joburg Open after his maiden victory.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 23 year-old from Wakefield made the most of his opportunity, having only played twice at this level since turning professional in July, after he spent the last five years in the USA on the collegiate circuit.

In his debut at elite level, he bogeyed the last to miss the cut by one shot in the Cazoo Classic at Hillside Golf Club, before going on to finish T13 at the Open De Espana behind former world number one, Jon Rahm.

That display of course was promising, but nobody expected this result, not even Bradbury himself, who began to get worried about his chances with the resurgence of Sami Valimaki on the 15th.

"It won't sink in for a few days," Bradbury said. "I was a bit worried down 15 when he (Valimaki) rolled that monster in, but it has been the same thing all week - just keep playing my own game. It is unbelievable, I still don't believe it now."

As he headed into the final round just one-shot ahead, there were several players in the chasing pack, including home favourite, Christiaan Bezuidenhout. This seemed to be irrelevant to Bradbury, as he set up a birdie at the first to go two ahead.

The Englishman added birdies on the 3rd, 9th, 13th and 16th alongside an incredible par save at the 6th, before dropping a shot on the final hole which proved to be insignificant as Valimaki came home with the same number. 

Despite Valimaki’s late surge on the 14th and 15th, Bradbury went on to beat the Finn by three shots, closing his final round out in 67 and pushing his total to 21-under for the tournament, which allowed him to cement a career-changing victory.

Cieran Faulder

Cieran joined the Golf Monthly team having previously written for other digital outlets like Reach PLC and Northern Golfer. After studying Journalism at Northumbria University, Cieran went on to complete an MA at the University of Sunderland. A big golf fan, he currently plays at Blyth Golf Club, where he holds a handicap of 8. Citing his favorite golfer as Tiger Woods, Cieran regards himself as the best snap hooker of a ball in the North of England.