Published: Wed, January 15, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Oosthuizen on course for back-to-back SA Open wins

Oosthuizen on course for back-to-back SA Open wins

Branden Grace finished his long wait for a ninth victory in the European Circuit while achieving a three-shot victory over Louis Oosthuizen with a sensational final round 62 at the South African Open.

As Oosthuizen jumped down the fairway he did transform to the video camera and also confess "it was a little further right than I wanted", however he would certainly have traded a few of that good luck for some on the environment-friendlies as one more possibility went pleading at the nine.

Armitage, who is searching for his first win on the European Tour, carded six birdies and two eagles, and would have had a share of the lead but for a dropped shot on the 18th hole when he was wayward with his drive.

Grace's remarkable performance at Randpark GC proved comfortably enough to dethrone the defending champion, who lit up the final day with a spectacular hole-in-one at the eighth but faltered several times when he did need his putter.

After being in the top ten in the Race to Dubai for four of the previous seven seasons, Grace finished 113th a year ago before hinting of a return to winning ways at last month's Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek with a tie for third.

Oosthuizen looked lacklustre as he parred his way home for a 68 that could have been several shots better had he not wielded such a cold putter, and he will be left to reflect on what might have been despite putting up a stout defence of his title.

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Despite carding a bogey five at the second, it was Grace who produced a rousing finish, cancelling out his earlier error with an eagle three at the fourth along with eight birdies inside the first 14 holes to ease himself to 21 under on a day when he putted just 22 times.

Jack Senior (67) and Jaco Ahlers (69) were in a tie for fourth. "This kick starts it all and it's going to be an exciting year for me". I took it on the chin, and my goal was to be tied with the leaders after nine holes.

"It was a great day". "I walked up the last knowing that a birdie, and only a birdie, would get me into this year's Open at Sandwich; I might have gone even madder if I'd realised it would also get me into this event [the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship] as well, in a field with Brooks [Koepka, the world No 1]".

"What an fantastic day".

"That's why we play golf, for days like today", he told reporters. "I stayed in the moment".

It was Grace's initial triumph considering that raising the Nedbank Golf Challenge prize in November 2017, as well as additionally his 4th European Tour win on house dirt which ought to suffice to lift him back right into the top 100 worldwide positions.

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