George Coetzee wins Tshwane Open for second time

George Coetzee celebrates winning the Tshwane Open in Pretoria. Picture: Getty
George Coetzee celebrates winning the Tshwane Open in Pretoria. Picture: Getty
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South Africa’s George Coetzee overcame a shaky start and two untimely weather delays to justify his billing as pre-tournament favourite by winning the Tshwane Open for the second time.

Coetzee carded a final-round 67 at Pretoria Country Club, where he has been a member since taking up the game, to finish 18 under par, two shots ahead of England’s Sam Horsfield. Finland’s Mikko Korhonen, who was second in the event 12 months ago, was a shot further back in third after two costly late bogeys ended his chances of victory.

“A lot has happened since the last time I held this trophy,” said Coetzee after winning for the fourth time on the European Tour. “I broke my ankle and kind of needed to show myself I could win on tour again and it’s nice to do it again in front of the home crowd.

“After four holes [he was two behind Korhonen after starting the day two in front], I didn’t think it was going to be my day, but for some reason I just thought I haven’t been playing the front nine very well all week so I might as well just wait to the back nine and make something happen then and luckily for me it happened.

“The putter all of a sudden started to wake up on the eighth hole, I started making everything – me and the greens became one.”

Scott Jamieson finished seventh, picking up just over £27,000 after carding a final- round 68 to end on 13-under. Connor Syme signed off with a 69 to claim a share of 11th – his third top-15 finish in ten starts on the European Tour – while Grant Forrest finished at one under as he closed with a 67.

Meanwhile, Michelle Wie ended her title drought in style by holing “the best putt of my career” to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore, her first victory since the 2014 US Open.

The 28-year-old American, who began the day five off the lead, sank a 40-foot putt – her seventh of a bogey-free 65 – on the 18th to win by one shot on 17 under.

“I wanted to win really 
badly, especially after what happened last year [when she led going into the final round but had her momentum halted by four-putt double-bogey at the par-5 fifth in losing out to Inbee Park],” said Wie.

“I had some unfinished business. I knew if I shot seven, eight under I’d have a chance and that was my one and only goal.”

Elsewhere, England’s Meghan MacLaren claimed her first Ladies European Tour victory in the Women’s NSW Open in Australia. The 23-year-old former Curtis Cup player from Northamptonshire closed with a 71 at Coffs Harbour to finish on 10 under par – two shots ahead of her nearest challengers.