George Coetzee wins Tshwane Open

George Coetzee won the Tshwane Open at Pretoria Country Club in South Africa

George Coetzee wins Tshwane Open
George Coetzee wins Tshwane Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

South Africa’s George Coetzee produced a superb final round of 65 to win the Tshwane Open by a single shot on his home course at Pretoria Country Club.

South Africa’s George Coetzee produced a superb final round of 65 to win the Tshwane Open by a single shot on his home course at Pretoria Country Club.

Coetzee was one of six players holding a share of the lead through 54-holes on nine-under-par, but it was clear early in the final round that it would be a tough battle to claim the title.

Early on Sunday, another South African Jacques Blaauw stormed round the course in a record-equalling 61 to post a clubhouse total of 13-under-par.

Coetzee wasn’t intimidated by Blaauw’s impressive target. He birdied three holes at the end of his front nine to get within a shot of the leader. Another birdie at the 10th put Coetzee into a tie at the top of the board. He played the back nine steadily before taking the lead with a birdie at the short par-4 17th.

One ahead with one to play, Coetzee needed a par at the testing home hole to claim the victory. He looked calm and collected as he played two excellent shots into the green and two putted to take his second European Tour title on the course where he won his first tournament as a junior.

“To win at your own club in front of all your friends and family – the crowds were amazing, I could just feel the momentum building and the crowd getting bigger and bigger towards the end. It’s a great experience and a very special day for me,” said Coetzee. “I think I’ve got this course down after 18 years of playing golf! I think it played to my advantage knowing when to be aggressive and when not to.”

Despite his last round heroics, Blaauw had to be content with second place.

"It was fun out there, everything just went in,” he said. “It’s always good to be in contention in these big events coming down the stretch.”

Scotland’s Craig Lee had a chance of victory with five holes to play, only one stroke off the lead. But he bogeyed the 15th and double bogeyed the last to fall back into a tie for third place with South Africans Dean Burmester and Tjaart van der Walt.

Tshwane Open Pretoria Country Club, Waterkloof, South Africa Mar 12-15, purse: €1,410,000, par: 70

1    George Coetzee (RSA)    67    66    68    65    266    €237,751 2    Jacques Blaauw (RSA)    72    65    69    61    267    €172,500 T3    Dean Burmester (RSA)    65    68    71    67    271    €79,800 T3    Craig Lee (Sco)        67    68    66    70    271    €79,800 T3    Tjaart van der Walt (RSA) 69 69    66    67    271    €79,800 T6    Jaco Ahlers (RSA)        69    67    70    66    272    €48,675 T6    Adrian Otaegui (Esp)    67    62    72    71    272    €48,675 T8    Gregory Bourdy (Fra)    70    67    70    66    273    €34,650 T8    Robert Rock (Eng)    69    70    66    68    273    €34,650

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?