CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s Branden Grace kept his nerve while all around him lost theirs to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa on Sunday.
Grace showed a steady hand to claim his first European Tour victory since 2012 as he carded a final round 68 for a tournament total of 20-under-par 268.
The 26-year-old, who completed the first ever wire-to-wire win in the tournament’s history, ended seven shots ahead of compatriot Louis Oosthuizen, who finished with a 69.
But for the rest of the chasing pack going into the final round it was a day of horrors, most notably Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard, who trailed Grace by just a single shot going into Sunday, but carded a 17-over 89 as his game fell to pieces.
He eventually tied for 49th.
“It’s been a long year and a hard year and now towards the end this is going to be a good Christmas, so it has been a fairytale ending,” Grace said at the trophy presentation.
Grace has never lost after leading at 54 holes, with all four of his previous titles coming in 2012.
Briton Danny Willett was in contention for a repeat of his Nedbank Challenge victory last weekend as he trailed by three shot, but a double-bogey on the 16th saw him drop six shots in the final three holes to finish with a 76.
He tied third on 10 under par with compatriot Andrew Johnson and home player Trevor Fisher junior.
Only eight of the 75 players who featured in Sunday’s final round carded under 70.
Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Martyn Herman