Breakthrough Joburg win was a gift for mum, says Coetzee

Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:19am EST
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By Tony Jimenez

(Reuters) - Relief was etched all across George Coetzee's face when the South African ended an agonising sequence of 24 top-10 finishes without a win by landing his maiden European Tour victory at the Joburg Open.

The 27-year-old's three-stroke triumph at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Sunday also meant he made amends for failing to buy a birthday gift for his mother the day before.

"Today was awesome and I'm so happy to share it with everybody I love," Coetzee said on his Twitter feed after picking up the first prize of 206,050 euros ($280,600).

"I've been waiting a while and I starting doubting. I got to share it with my family and friends - it was my mum's birthday on Saturday and I wanted to do it for her as I forgot to buy her a present."

Coetzee was four shots behind joint leaders Justin Walters and Thomas Aiken at the start of the final round but came storming through the field with a closing 66 earning a 19-under-par total of 268.

The champion, however, was grateful for a sizeable dose of good fortune with four holes to go.

"You need a little bit of luck to win these things," said Coetzee. "On 15 I pulled my driver.

"That was the decider because it should have gone into the water but instead it hit a tree and bounced back into the fairway.   Continued...

George Coetzee of South Africa tees his shot during the third round of the Qatar Masters in Doha, January 24, 2014. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad