Strong finish by Bob MacIntyre as Christiaan Bezuidenhout wins on home soil

Bob MacIntyre edged closer to breaking into the world’s top 50 as he finished with a flourish and was joined in securing a top-15 spot by two of his compatriots, Scott Jamieson and Calum Hill.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout celebrates with the trophy following his victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

But pride of place in the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa went to home player Christiaan Bezuidenhout as he claimed his third European Tour title with a four-shot victory at Leopard Creek.

The 26-year-old, who had started the day three shots behind overnight leader Adrian Meronk from Poland, hit the front as he produced a burst of three birdies in five holes just after the turn in the middle leg of a three-event South African Swing.

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As Meronk’s challenge faded following back-to-back 6s, American Sean Crocker rolled in a curling birdie putt on the 17th to get within a shot of Bezuidenhout only to then run up a triple-bogey 8 at the last.

Bob Macintyre tees off on the 4th hole during the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images

In signing off with a 69, Bezuidenhout finished with a 14-under-par 274 total as he added to his breakthrough success in the 2019 Andalucia Masters at Valderrama and another win on home soil in the Dimension Data Pro-Am in February.

“I’m really pleased I pulled it off,” said a delighted Bezuidenhout. “Leopard Creek has always been a special place for me, and the golf course this week was immaculate. You don’t

get much better than this. I’ve always wanted to win this tournament.

“It was tough out there. We played in a two-club wind that was swirling all over the place.”

Crocker (72) and Meronk (76) finished in a four-way tie for second along with England’s Richard Bland (70) and young South African Jayden Schaper (75).

In his first appearance since winning the Cyprus Showdown at the start of the month, MacIntyre was also delighted with his day’s work as he closed with a five-under 67 - the best score in the final round by two shots.

The 24-year-old from Oban carded six birdies, including four in fives holes on the back nine, to finish on nine-under alongside Jamieson (71) as they ended up in a tie for sixth spot.

“I played great today,” said MacIntyre, who started the week sitting 63rd in the world rankings but is expected to climb to 60th as he bids to break into the top 50 for the first time before the end of the year.

“I came out here for this exact reason, for the weather today and the condition of the golf course and the tough test it would provide.

“I actually thought it would happen a bit earlier, but it happened today and that suited my golf game down to an absolute tee.”

Jamieson had covered his first 13 holes in four-under before dropping shots at the 14th and 16th, but it was another strong showing at this venue by the 36-year-old Glaswegian after recording two top-five finishes in the past.

Hill, who had started the day in a share of sixth spot, just five shots off the lead, picked up an early birdie before hitting a rocky spell that cost him five strokes in six holes before the turn.

He had also bogeyed the 13th before repairing some of that damage with two birdies in the last four holes to secure a share of 13th spot on six-under.

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