Nov 18, 2019: 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.
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.
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.
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.