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SA’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout triumphs at Leopard Creek


South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout kept calm while other
challengers faltered and won the Alfred Dunhill Championship by four
shots at windy Leopard Creek Country Club in on
Sunday.

Full leaderboard

The 26-year-old triumphed for the second time on the
European Tour by carding a three-under-par final round 69 for a 274
total over a course that borders the Kruger National Park game reserve.

Richard
Bland (70) from England, American Sean Crocker (72), Adrian Meronk (76)
from Poland and South African Jayden Schaper (75) shared second place
on 278.

“This course is close to my heart,” said an emotional
Bezuidenhout after adding to his European silverware having won the
Andalucia Masters in Spain last year.

“It is a tournament that I
desperately wanted to win so this is a very special day for me. I am
proud of myself for pulling it off.

“Apart from a double bogey
five at seven – my first slip at that hole after three pars between
Thursday and Saturday – I was very happy with my final round.”

Bezuidenhout, the lowest ranked golfer in the field at 61, holed long birdie putts at 14 and 15 to build a two-shot advantage.

Playing
cautiously as a strong wind troubled many rivals, the South African
parred the final three holes for an ultimately comfortable triumph.

Tee shot hit buggy

He turned in level par 35 after three birdies, a bogey and a double bogey, then picked up three birdies on the inward nine.

Crocker
was only one shot behind as he teed off at 18, but a booming drive
veered left, hit the roof of a moving buggy and flew out of bounds.

The visibly upset American hit his fourth shot into the water surrounding the green and ended with a three-over eight.

Meronk,
who had topped the leaderboard for three rounds as he sought to become
the first Polish winner on the European Tour, faded after dropping three
shots in two holes.

He needed four shots to reach the green at 13
and two putted for a bogey before double bogeying 14 following an
overhit approach shot on the par four.

Meronk, born in Germany and
reared in Poland, found water at the final hole and a bogey six cost
him sole occupancy of second place.

The three-event South African
swing of the European Tour concludes next week with the South African
Open, which was first held in 1903 and is the second oldest national
golf championship after the British Open.

Leading scores after final round of the European Tour/Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned Alfred Dunhill Championship at par 72 Leopard Creek Country Club near Malelane, South Africa, Sunday (RSA unless noted):

274 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout 69-68-68-69

278 – Richard Bland (ENG) 67-67-74-70, Sean Crocker (USA) 70-68-68-72, Adrian Meronk (POL) 65-66-71-76, Jayden Schaper 69-67-67-75

279 – Marcus Armitage (ENG) 71-71-67-70, Adri Arnaus (ESP) 70-67-69-73, Robert McIntyre (SCO) 72-70-70-67, Scott Jamieson (SCO) 66-71-72-70, Alexander Levy (FRA) 70-72-68-69

280 – Fabricio Zanetti (PAR) 71-71-68-70

Selected:

281 – Wilco Nienaber 71-68-72-70

289 – Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 74-69-74-72



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