February 16, 2014: Thomas Aiken made sure to keep the Africa Open title in South Africa for the fifth consecutive time as he defeated England’s Oliver Fisher in a play-off to claim his third European Tour title on Sunday.
Aiken birdied the first extra hole at East London Golf Club after the pair had finished tied on 20 under par, joining compatriots Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen (twice) and Darren Fichardt in lifting the trophy.
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar(67-67-68-71) finished tied 34th with a total score of 273 at the end of four rounds at the Africa Open. Bhullar, who played well in first three rounds, was lying at 15th till Saturday. Indian finished eleven under to collect Euros 7000 on Sunday.
Aiken (67) and Fisher (69) finished tied together on 20-under-par after 72 holes, although the Englishman saw a putt for victory just slide past the cup on his final hole in regulation
Fisher narrowly missed a birdie putt on the 18th to win in regulation but then missed the green when the players returned to the same hole for the play-off, and was facing a 15ft par attempt before Aiken made sure of victory by holing from 35ft.
Aiken, with his wife Kate acting as his caddie for the week, had carded a closing 67 while Fisher returned a 69 in pursuit of his second European Tour title.
England’s David Horsey birdied four of his last six holes to shoot a final round of 65 and claim a share of third place on 19 under alongside American John Hahn.
Overnight leader Emiliano Grillo was in a four-strong group a shot further back after birdies at the last five holes repaired some of the damage of a quintuple-bogey nine on the opening hole.
Grillo held a two-shot lead thanks to a brilliant 62 on Saturday, but the 21-year-old Argentinian had already taken a penalty drop from an unplayable lie when he chipped his fourth shot into a greenside bunker, from where he needed two attempts to escape.
His sixth shot had rolled back off the green however and after chipping up to seven feet, he needed two putts to complete an extraordinary opening hole and drop his first shot since his 15th hole on Thursday.
This is 30-year-old Aiken’s third European Tour International Schedule victory in his 180th European Tour event.He moves to €385,225 in The Race to Dubai. Also, his first European Tour victory since the 2013 Avantha Masters.