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By : BGA Proshop
Tommy Fleetwood the 2018 Ryder Cup hero has claimed a stunning victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa in front of Hall of Fame golfer Gary Player.
Fleetwood was six shots back but stormed back into the tournament with some magnificent play. He closed with a final round 65 but it wasn’t a run of birdies that got him the victory. To get into a playoff with Marcus Kinhult, Fleetwood had not one, not even two but three eagles in his final round. That is six-under through three holes and finished his round at 7 under.
Fleetwood got off a solid start with birdies on the 2nd, 5th and 6th but it was a chip-in eagle on the 9th which shot him up the leader board. He then eagled the 10th but quickly gave them back on the next two holes with two bogeys. Another eagle on the 14th and he was right back in the hunt again. He started the day that far behind that he had to wait 30 minutes before he found out that he was in a playoff.
The playoff hole was the difficult 18th which is a 506-yard par 4 which doglegs left and has water at the bend and is about 150 yards out.
Kinhult was first to drive and pulled his tee shot left which hit a tree and dropped backwards. He could not go for it in two and had to chip out but could not get up and down and made a bogey five.
Meanwhile, Fleetwood hit the grandstand with his second shot and made an in creditable up and down for par to secure his first victory in 665 days.
For the win, he claimed the winner's cheque of $US2.5 million ($A3.7 million), the biggest winner's prize in European Tour history. He has also moved to second in the Race to Dubai standings with one tournament left which is next week at the World Tour Championship in Dubai.
"I was struggling with levels of expectation because I wasn't playing how I thought that I should or achieving the things that I wanted to," Fleetwood said after his round.
"There's only a certain few, come the end of every year, that have a chance of winning the Race to Dubai and three years in I've been lucky to be one of those guys every time. I'll give it my all."