South Africa’s Hennie Otto stumbled but held on to win the SA Open Championship by a single shot from Bernd Wiesberger of Austria at the Serengeti Golf Club in Ekurhuleni.
Otto led by three shots with just six holes left to play, but three bogeys in the space of four holes left him tied with the Austrian with two to go.
The South African steadied the ship at the short par-4 17th, holing a six-foot birdie putt to move one clear. He then completed a solid par on the final hole to win by the narrowest of margins.
“There are some great names on that trophy,” he said. “I said it would be great if I could add mine, now today’s the day.”
With the victory Otto climbed to 56th place from 80th on the Race to Dubai, thereby securing his place in the Dubai World Championship.
For Wiesberger it was a second runner’s-up finish in 2011. He also lost out in a playoff for the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
In the battle to retain European Tour playing rights for 2012 it was a good day for England’s Richard McEvoy. He closed with a 68 to finish in a tie for third. By doing so he moved up from 121st to 107th on the money list. It looks likely that those finishing the season in the top 118 will retain their card for next year.
There wasn’t such good news for Scots Steven O’Hara and Lloyd Saltman. O’Hara needed a top three finish to save his card but he dropped back into a tie for 25th with a poor last round. Saltman needed to par the final hole to finish in a tie for third, earn a start at Hong Kong next week and a real chance of avoiding a trip to Q school. But he closed with a heartbreaking double bogey and fell back into a tie for ninth.
SA Open Championship
Serengeti Golf Club, Ekurhuleni, South Africa
Nov 24-27, purse €1,000,200, par 72
1 Hennie Otto (RSA) 70 67 65 72 274 €158,500
2 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 69 68 70 68 275 €115,000
T3 Thomas Aiken (RSA) 68 69 68 72 277 €53,200
T3 Richard McEvoy (Eng) 70 70 69 68 277 €53,200
T3 Ockie Strydom (RSA) 69 72 67 69 277 €53,200
T6 Magnus Carlsson (Swe) 73 66 66 73 278 €29,883
T6 Trevor Fisher (RSA) 66 72 70 68 278 €29,883
T6 Retief Goosen (RSA) 66 68 71 73 278 €29,883
T9 Jaco Ahlers (RSA) 74 67 65 73 279 €18,950
T9 Branden Grace (RSA) 69 68 74 68 279 €18,950
T9 Garth Mulroy (RSA) 67 68 70 74 279 €18,950
T9 Lloyd Saltman (Sco) 69 68 72 70 279 €18,950
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage