South African Ockie Strydom claimed his maiden DP World Tour title with a two-shot win in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
The 37-year-old, whose only other professional win had been in the Origins of Golf event on the Sunshine Tour in 2019, finished ahead of two LIV Golf players despite an erratic front nine in his final round at Leopard Creek Country Club.
Adrian Otaegui, who was looking for his first victory since claiming a record-breaking Andalusia Masters title in October, had to settle for the runner-up spot, while Englishman Laurie Canter finished a shot further behind in third as Strydom's strong finish closed out the win.
Earlier in the day, the 37-year-old’s challenge had threatened to derail. He began the day sharing the lead with Scott Jamieson, but after he double-bogeyed the ninth, the nerves appeared to be kicking in. However, he recovered his composure impressively on the back nine with four birdies and five pars to claim the trophy with minimum stress.
The groundwork for the victory had been done the day before when Strydom equalled the course record of 63 to force his way into contention. That replicated a similar achievement a week earlier in the South African Open when he set a course record of 63 on his way to finishing in a tie for 15th.
Strydom's win was even more impressive considering the number of well-known local players in the field. One was 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, whose tie for seventh propelled him back into the world's top 50 after he briefly dropped out of it for the first time since 2014. Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel were other homegrown players hoping to impress. The former eventually finished tied for fourth. However, Schwartzel missed the cut.
Strydom was understandably delighted with his victory. He said: “It is nice. I think my plans have now changed a little bit. My wife is probably crying at home, my parents crying at home, my caddie, thanks a lot to everyone. It is my favourite place, the course is looking phenomenal, as good as I have ever seen it. It is the bush, I am calm in the bush, my first win was in the bush and we are back in the bush. I am just happy."
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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