PRETORIA (Reuters) - George Coetzee recorded a final round 65 on his home course at Pretoria Country Club to win the Tshwane Open on Sunday, seeing off the challenge of South African compatriot Jacques Blaauw by one stroke. A birdie at the 17th hole helped seal the second European Tour win for the 28-year-old Coetzee, who was part of a group of six who held the overnight lead but were blown off the top of the leader board by a whirlwind 61 from Blaauw.
Five behind after the third round, Blaauw took an early clubhouse lead on Sunday but Coetzee, who still had eight holes to play when Blaauw completed his round, says he then drew on his experience of playing club championships on the course.
Coetzee, who won his first event at the Pretoria Country Club when he was just 10, explained at the post-tournament presentation: “I knew what to do at each hole because I had learned from past experience, once blowing a chance to win here because I was too conservative.”
Coetzee finished with a four round, 14-under par total of 266 with Blaauw one behind.
Blaauw fired nine birdies to equal the course record and then had a long wait to see if it would be good enough for victory, but Coetzee joined him at 13-under with a birdie on the 10th hole and then went past with an aggressive approach to the tricky 17th.
Scotland’s Craig Lee finished tied third with the South African duo of Dean Burmester and Tjaart van der Walt on 271.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ian Chadband