Westwood shines in Sun City to end European Tour title drought

Englishman Lee Westwood ended the long wait to secure his 24th European Tour victory with a three-shot triumph on Sunday.

Published : Nov 11, 2018 20:43 IST

Lee Westwood celebrates with the Nedbank Golf Challenge trophy.
Lee Westwood celebrates with the Nedbank Golf Challenge trophy.

Lee Westwood celebrates with the Nedbank Golf Challenge trophy.

An emotional Lee Westwood secured his first European Tour title since April 2014 after a final round of 64 clinched a three-shot victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The Englishman's blemish-free performance on Sunday at Sun City included an eagle and six birdies, five of which came during a sizzling back nine at Gary Player Country Club.

Westwood's low score set the bar for the rest at 15 under, leaving him to watch on as two major winners - Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen - attempted to catch the clubhouse leader.

Garcia, who had held a two-shot lead overnight, sat at 12 under through 12 but failed to gain any momentum over his closing holes, six straight pars seeing him sign for a 70.

Having been in pole position to clinch back-to-back wins on the European Tour following his success at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in October, the Spaniard instead had to settle for second place.

Home favourite Oosthuizen benefited from a hot putter but mixed eight birdies with three bogeys before dropping two shots at the last in his score of 69, meaning he had to settle for third, three clear of England's Ross Fisher, on 11 under.

"I'm a bit emotional, to be honest," a tearful Westwood said after ending a drought that spanned back to the Maybank Malaysian Open four years ago.

"You're never sure whether you're going to be able to do it again.

"Until now my emotions have felt really under control all day which is what I've been working hard on. I was just trying to hit fairways and stick to my game-plan and hit it in the right places."

China's Li Haotong finished in a share of fifth place with Matt Wallace on seven under, ending the former's slim chances in the Race to Dubai.

With Li out of the running, Ryder Cup team-mates Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood will fight it out for the honour of finishing the season as the Tour's number one at next week's DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

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