Serengeti win for Stenson but it’s not plain sailing

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Swede Henrik Stenson lifted the South African Open trophy, but it was great day, too, for 
England’s Tommy Fleetwood at Serengeti.

Former world No 4 Stenson ended three-and-a-half years without a win when he denied George Coetzee victory in his national championship by three strokes with a closing 71.

Fleetwood’s share of sixth place, meanwhile, lifted him from 124th on the European Tour money-list into the top 
119 players, who earn cards for next year.

The player to miss out because of him was South African Tjaart Van der Walt. He chose to 
play in the Hong Kong Open 
because of the bigger prize money on offer but did not 
pick up a penny after missing the cut.

Stenson made hard work of clinching his seventh title on the circuit after standing four clear of the field five holes into the final round.

When he followed a bogey on the next with a double bogey at the short ninth – he pulled his tee shot into the water – he was back in a tie with Coetzee.

But the Pretoria golfer, yet 
to win a European Tour event despite 18 top-10 finishes, dropped a shot at the 183-yard 15th and Stenson, saving par from sand there, was the one to birdie the next two.

The ex-Ryder Cup star, who finished at 17-under-par after 
flying to the event from the United States, said: “It was great that I came down here.

“I made it a little difficult for myself but stayed patient. The turning point was when I 
didn’t plug in the bunker on 15 – the two birdies after that sealed the deal.

“The course was playing a lot harder today. The pins were tucked away and I’m very happy with my performance.”

Germany’s Martin Kaymer shared third place with Thomas Aiken, another of the home contingent, while fifth place went to last year’s Masters champion, Charl Schwartzel.

Defending champion Hennie Otto broke the course record with a 10-under 62 to leap into a tie for sixth.