Branden Grace rolled in a lengthy birdie try on the 16th hole that proved to be the difference as he raced past Scott Jamieson to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge in his home country.
Grace started the day three shots off the lead, but he moved into a three-way tie for the lead with Jamieson and Victor Dubuisson with just four holes to play. His 40-foot birdie try on No. 16 found the target, and two closing pars were enough to edge Jamieson by one and Dubuisson by two.
Grace hit all 18 greens in regulation during his bogey-free 66 and becomes the first South African to win this event since Trevor Immelman in 2007.
Full-field scores from the Nedbank Golf Challenge
Grace set a major championship scoring record with a 62 in the third round of The Open, but it’s otherwise been a lean year. This marked the first worldwide win since the 2016 RBC Heritage and first top-10 finish since Royal Birkdale for Grace, who entered the week ranked No. 44 in the world after starting the year ranked No. 17.
A victory in the penultimate event of the season helped Grace make a big move in the Race to Dubai standings, where he now sits in ninth place heading into the finale. Tommy Fleetwood finished T-10 in South Africa to increase his lead to more than 250,000 Euros over Justin Rose. Third-place Sergio Garcia is more than 1 million Euros behind Fleetwood.
England’s Ian Poulter appears on the bubble for the DP World Tour Championship, as he is 62nd in points but only 60 players will advance. With Rory McIlroy not expected to play and Henrik Stenson’s status in doubt, Poulter had a chance to move up and tweeted Sunday that he expected to make the Dubai field.