Coetzee shares second after lengthy playoff

George Coetzee shared second after a 90-minute playoff at the Johnnie Walker Championship in Scotland on Sunday.

Coetzee shot a final round of 67 for a tournament score of 11-under-par, which led to a five-man playoff with Mark Foster, Pablo Larrazabal, Bernd Weisberger and winner Thomas Bjorn.

A bogey on the third was the only blemish to Coetzee’s front nine, which he went around in 33 thanks to four birdies.

The Pretoria Country Club professional carded a birdie immediately after the turn and moved to four-under-par.

He would card a solitary birdie on the 15th before playing out his round with a string of pars, which led to a card of five-under-par.

It was immediately back to the 18th tee-box for Coetzee, whose 11-under-par tournament score meant the playoff became a five-man affair.

The setup for the playoff was to repeatedly play through the 18th.

Weisberger’s bogey on the first hole immediately removed him from contention. Larrazabal followed suit with a bogey on the second.

Bjorn and Foster birdied the third, putting pressure on Coetzee to hole a 10-foot putt, but he stayed cool and produced the goods. All three players headed back to the tee-box.

Foster bogeyed the fourth, leaving a showdown between Coetzee and Bjorn.

Coetzee went into the thick rough and was forced to chip out. He recovered well but was unable to match Bjorn’s birdie, and after 90 minutes of playoff the Dane won.

The result shows that Coetzee has what it takes, but a first European Tour win still eludes him.

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