Nedbank Golf Challenge R4

Fleetwood rises to play-off glory in Sun City

November 14-17
Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa
$7,500,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 3


Tommy Fleetwood defeated Marcus Kinhult in a thrilling play-off to win his second Rolex Series title at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player, and put himself in contention to top the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex for the second time in three years.

Nedbank Golf Challenge R4 - Fleetwood rises to play-off glory
Tommy Fleetwood lifts the Nedbank Golf Challenge trophy at Sun City (Christiaan Kotze/AP)

“It feels good, emotional. It has been a long time coming, and I’m not one to complain, but I really did want to win something. You know, it’s the best. Winning is just such a good feeling. You know everybody puts a lot of hard work in week-in, week-out and you wait for your time to come. Probably impatient most of the time. But I feel happy and lucky that it’s been my time this week.”


The Ryder Cup star, who joined the illustrious list of Rolex Series winners at the 2017 Open de France, started the final round at Gary Player Country Club six strokes off the lead, but flew up the leaderboard after three birdies and the first of an incredible three eagles before the turn. He then eagled the tenth and the 14th, recovering from dropped shots on the 12th and 13th holes. A final birdie of the day on the 15th saw him sign for a 12 under par score.

“It was one of the best (rounds of my career) for sure. I would have liked to keep a couple bogeys off the card, but like the way I played, the way I hit it, felt like the way I putted, the way I handled myself emotionally, staying in the present. And then the playoff, bit of luck with the tee shot, chip shot probably a bit lucky and holed the putt, but it all goes together with just such an amazing day.


“It’s such a great, great thing and a feeling to be playing with a chance to win The Race to Dubai in the last event. Everybody starts the Tour at the start of the season to get there, and be one of the guys that can actually finish at the top is very special.”

Sweden’s Kinhult started three strokes behind overnight leader Zander Lombard and made a crucial birdie on the 15th to join Fleetwood on 12 under, setting up a play-off for the US$2.5million first prize.


On the first extra hole, Kinhult had to play out sideways after a poor tee shot, eventually settling for bogey, while Fleetwood made an excellent up and down to save par and tapped in from three feet for the biggest winner’s prize in European Tour history and his fifth title.

“I’m proud. Shot a good score today. Got into the playoff and made a silly bogey, but I’m happy with the week and how I played. It’s a good week. Losing is not all fun but Tommy deserved that. Great up-and-down. Great champion.

“It’s quite an improvement (from last year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge). I look forward to coming back next year and seeing if we can do better. I’m happy this week, especially how last year turned out with that last place finish. I think we’re learning every time we come here.”

The win moves the Englishman to second place on the Race to Dubai in his bid to be named European Number One for the second time, following his 2017 triumph, at next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.


Current Rankings leader Bernd Wiesberger, of Austria, finished in a share of third place alongside Belgium’s Thomas Detry and Australian Jason Scrivener, who both moved inside the top 50 on the Race to Dubai, securing their places at Jumeirah Golf Estates next week.

Defending champion Lee Westwood and home favourite Louis Oosthuizen shared sixth, while Robert MacIntyre took the lead again in the race for the Rookie of the Year title, finishing in eighth place alongside Lombard.


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DP World Tour Rankings

Golf Ranking
By GT Editor
Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
1
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-12
69
69
73
65
276
2
Marcus Kinhult
SWE
-12
69
69
70
68
276
T3
Jason Scrivener
AUS
-8
69
70
71
70
280
T3
Bernd Wiesberger
AUT
-8
71
69
70
70
280
T3
Thomas Detry
BEL
-8
66
71
69
74
280
T6
Lee Westwood
ENG
-7
68
73
69
71
281
T6
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-7
63
72
71
75
281
T8
Robert MacIntyre
SCO
-6
73
76
65
68
282
T8
Zander Lombard
RSA
-6
68
65
72
77
282
T10
Kalle Samooja
FIN
-4
72
71
72
69
284
T10
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-4
71
69
73
71
284
T10
Joost Luiten
NED
-4
72
70
69
73
284
T13
Jorge Campillo
ESP
-3
69
72
74
70
285
T13
Tom Lewis
ENG
-3
71
73
69
72
285
T13
Nacho Elvira
ESP
-3
70
70
71
74
285
T13
Aaron Rai
ENG
-3
70
69
71
75
285
T17
Henrik Stenson
SWE
-2
74
71
69
72
286
T17
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-2
74
70
69
73
286
T17
Joachim B. Hansen
DEN
-2
69
70
71
76
286
20
Padraig Harrington
IRL
-1
71
72
73
71
287
T21
Gavin Green
MAS
Par
74
70
73
71
288
T21
Martin Kaymer
GER
Par
70
72
72
74
288
T21
Guido Migliozzi
ITA
Par
67
73
72
76
288
T24
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
1
72
73
72
72
289
T24
Paul Waring
ENG
1
69
71
78
71
289
T24
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
1
74
70
71
74
289
T24
Alvaro Quiros
ESP
1
70
70
72
77
289
T24
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
1
76
73
71
69
289
T24
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
1
70
70
70
79
289
T30
George Coetzee
RSA
2
69
73
73
75
290
T30
Kurt Kitayama
USA
2
70
72
73
75
290
T30
Romain Langasque
FRA
2
73
74
72
71
290
T30
Adria Arnaus
ESP
2
74
73
72
71
290
T30
Nicolas Colsaerts
BEL
2
72
73
74
71
290
T30
Sebastian Soederberg
SWE
2
69
72
73
76
290
T30
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
2
70
73
70
77
290
T30
Thomas Pieters
BEL
2
73
76
72
69
290
T30
Oliver Wilson
ENG
2
69
72
67
82
290
T39
Ian Poulter
ENG
3
74
71
73
73
291
T39
Joakim Lagergren
SWE
3
73
75
71
72
291
T39
Branden Grace
RSA
3
74
75
72
70
291
T42
Steven Brown
ENG
4
73
75
69
75
292
T42
Richie Ramsay
SCO
4
72
78
70
72
292
T44
Scott Jamieson
SCO
5
73
71
72
77
293
T44
Alexander Noren
SWE
5
73
69
73
78
293
T44
Matt Wallace
ENG
5
73
74
71
75
293
T44
Chris Paisley
ENG
5
75
74
72
72
293
T48
Jordan Smith
ENG
6
73
74
72
75
294
T48
Justin Harding
RSA
6
73
78
69
74
294
T48
Scott Hend
AUS
6
77
73
70
74
294
T48
Pablo Larrazabal
ESP
6
76
72
72
74
294
T52
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
7
72
71
72
80
295
T52
Haotong Li
CHN
7
73
76
71
75
295
T52
Matthew Southgate
ENG
7
72
79
70
74
295
T52
Ernie Els
RSA
7
68
81
72
74
295
56
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
8
70
74
78
74
296
57
Ryan Fox
NZL
9
74
75
74
74
297
58
David Lipsky
USA
10
72
74
77
75
298
59
Masahiro Kawamura
JPN
11
72
75
76
76
299
60
Richard Sterne
RSA
12
69
79
77
75
300
61
Andy Sullivan
ENG
14
75
73
74
80
302
62
Andrea Pavan
ITA
15
77
74
80
72
303
63
Lucas Bjerregaard
DNK
23
81
75
75
80
311