Henrik Stenson reflects on his three-shot victory in the South African Open
Henrik Stenson was delighted he made the long trip to the South African Open after ending his three-year winless streak.
Last Updated: 19/11/12 1:02pm
Stenson had played in Florida on the PGA Tour last Sunday and came to Serengeti on the back of a gruelling schedule in recent weeks.
He was bidding to cement his place in the European Tour's top 60 who get to play in next week's Dubai World Championship but far exceeded that goal.
"It was great that I came down here," he said. "One of the bigger reasons was I was 59th in The Race to Dubai standings and I needed a good week.
"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."
England's Tommy Fleetwood had to finish in the top 27 to retain his Tour card and moved up from 13th place overnight to finish joint sixth.
"It feels better than a win pretty much," said the 2010 English amateur champion from Southport.
"It was probably the most stressful four days of my life I think, but I played great today - I think I hit 17 greens, which under any circumstances is pretty good. I'm absolutely made up, honestly. It's unbelievable.
"It was the difference between going back to the Challenge Tour or staying on the best tour in the world.
"It's a hard, grafting year on the Challenge Tour - as good as it is, it's very tough. The European Tour is a much better lifestyle I must say and it's just great to have a job next year."
Fleetwood's finish lifted him from 124th on the European Tour money list into the top 119 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.