On the day after his 26th birthday, local golfer Christon Lawrence wins the South African Open by one stroke despite blowing a five-shot lead with five holes to play. He finished the DP World Tour (European Tour) event at Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate, located 52 kilometers (32 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, with a score of 74.
Lawrence wins South African Open on birthday
The victory was Lawrence’s third on the circuit; he beat out Clement Sordet. He shot a 73 in pursuit of his first major championship by a single stroke. After a nail-biting back-and-forth, the match was decided on the par-3 second-to-last hole of the course that South African golfing legend Gary Player had created.
Lawrence made par after missing the green off the tee, and Sordet bogeyed due to a missed putt. Both finalists parred the par-five final hole. Lawrence to add the South African Open crown to earlier successes in the Joburg Open last year. European Masters this year. Lawrence told AFP that he felt confident as he headed into the final nine holes because he had a five-shot lead.
“I felt really good with a five-shot lead as I approached the final holes,” a relieved Lawrence told AFP.
“Then, I became too conservative, made some mistakes and dropped four strokes within three holes from 14.
“My momentum slipped, but that is golf, and when Clement bogeyed 17, I was back in front. I held my nerve on the final hole, and it was wonderful that so many family members were there.
“A special thanks to my dad, who advised me to stand a little further away from the ball when putting this week. I heeded him. Being familiar with this course also helped.”
German Matti Schmid (69) and Swede Jans Fahrbring (70) tied for fourth place, two strokes behind Lawrence. The European Tour is next to northeastern South Africa for the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club starting Thursday.