Lee Westwood charges to Nedbank Golf Challenge victory
Englishman claims 24th European Tour win with eight-under 64
Last Updated: 11/11/18 6:27pm
Lee Westwood fired an eight-under 64 to storm to a three-shot victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.
The 45-year-old Englishman produced a faultless performance in the final round in Sun City to claim his 24th European Tour victory and his first since the 2014 Malaysian Open.
He finished on 15 under at the Gary Player Country Club, three ahead of overnight leader Sergio Garcia, with local hope Louis Oosthuizen one shot further back in third on 11 under.
It is Westwood's 43rd career victory in total and his fourth at this venue following wins in the 2000 Dimension Data Pro-Am and in this tournament in 2010 and 2011 when it was a 12-man invitational event.
Westwood started the day three behind Garcia but they were level after the Spaniard dropped a shot at the opening hole and the Englishman eagled the par-five second after a stunning second shot to four feet.
Oosthuizen, who was two off the lead overnight, then took command on the front nine as he drained long-range putts for birdies at the third, fifth and seventh.
It became a three-horse race again when the South African bogeyed the eighth after Westwood had made a birdie, with Garcia back on level terms due to a birdie at the sixth.
Westwood looked to have spurned his chance of victory when he failed to take advantage of the par-five ninth and 10th with Oosthuizen birdieing both holes as well as the 11th to go clear once again, Garcia keeping in touch with birdies at the 10th and 12th.
However, Westwood rolled back the years on the back nine, with his putter now red hot as he birdied the 11th, 13th and 14th.
Another birdie followed at the par-three 16th and he led by one on 14 under moments later when Oosthuizen bogeyed the 15th.
A brilliant approach shot at the 17th set up Westwood's fifth birdie on the back nine and he made a confident par at the 18th to come home in 31.
Garcia was unable to make any late inroads as he finished with six successive pars for a two-under 70, but he was handed second place after Oosthuizen made a mess of the last, driving into trees on the right and then seeing his second shot rebound from a tree as he attempted to make an unlikely eagle to tie Westwood. He eventually made a double-bogey six for a three-under 69.
Ross Fisher closed with a 70 to secure fourth place on eight under and he will still be rueing his miserable finish on Friday when he dropped eight shots over the last four holes.
China's Haotong Li almost matched Westwood with a seven-under 65, the highlight an eagle at the ninth, while Matt Wallace also finished strongly with a 67, chipping in from a bunker for eagle at the 14th, as the pair shared fifth place on seven under.
Belgium's Thomas Detry and Mikko Korhonen of Finland both started the day alongside Westwood on seven under but dropped out of contention with rounds of 73 and 77 respectively, the former at least finishing in sole possession of seventh place.
Rory McIlroy has produced a mixed bag this week and he continued that as he signed off with a one-under 71, which included a triple-bogey seven at the third and an eagle at the 14th, to tie for 21st on one under.