4th March 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Coetzee claims weather-affected Tshwane Open
George Coetzee’s knowledge of the Pretoria Country Club layout paid dividends as he navigated his way to a four-under 67 final round at the Tshwane Open and claim a four-stroke victory on a total of 18-under 266 on a weather-affected Sunday in Pretoria.
“Winning on my home track is amazing,” he said. “I’m really happy to have done it. I needed to kind of prove to myself after the ankle injuries that I can do it, and I am really happy to have done it.”
He opened the final round with a degree of caution, making two pars back-to-back, but was punished dearly on the third and fourth holes where he made consecutive bogeys to cut down the two-shot lead he held overnight. He then settled himself well to make his first birdie on the sixth which was followed by another a hole later.
“Yea, a couple of drops so early, I thought this is not the way I wanted to start my round,” said Coetzee, “but, I started building momentum and waited my turn and forced a birdie on six and it kind of started coming together.”
On the 11th hole, he began his onslaught, carding three straight birdies to pull clear of Korhonen. Dangerous weather conditions then forced the round to be suspended while he was playing 15th where he made another birdie.
The round was suspended once again before he could play the 16th where he made par, however, by this time he was already four shots clear of the chasing pack which included Korhonen whose dropped shots on the 15th and 17th handed Coetzee the win when it looked, at one stage, that he’d force a play-off. The bogey he made on the 17th didn’t matter much as he closed off a dominant week with a birdie to seal his second Tshwane Open victory in three years.
While the wheels were falling off for Korhonen, England’s Sam Horsefield was surging forward and his 67 helped him to a total of 16-under and earned him the second spot, with Korhonen coming third. Sharing fourth was Daniel van Tonder who put up a solid fight to sign for a 65, France’s Sebastien Gros and Felipe Aguilar of Chile. The win is Coetzee’s fourth on the European Tour and his ninth on the Sunshine Tour.