12 January 2009
Anders Hansen of Denmark birdied the final hole to finish at 15-under-par 269 and walk away with the R2.25-million winner’s cheque at the third Joburg Open played at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Sunday.
He sealed the deal with an impressive five-under-par 66, holding off the challenge of South Africa’s Andrew McLardy, whose second place was his second in the three years of the tournament.
A bogey on the 12th was hardly noticed as the Danish player made six birdies, including four consecutively from the sixth hole to the turn, which he reached he 31. He put the cherry on the top with his final birdie on 18th to secure victory.
‘That was very good’
“I played really nice on the front side there, hitting a lot of good shots, so that was very good,” he said.
Hansen had a 20-footer for eagle on 18, which would have put unbearable pressure on McLardy, but he left it three feet short. He then rammed home the birdie putt to go to 15-under, thus setting McLardy a target of 68.
The South African had sniffed victory when he turned up the heat on the back nine by stringing together a sequence of three birdies through 10, 11, and 12 to creep up onto the pacesetter.
On the 13th, he curled a delightful approach round the trees in exactly the way he had told journalists he liked to do, landing the ball just 12 feet from the pin. Although he left his birdie attempt just inches short, it was the kind of putt that had “winner” written all over it.
However, it was not to be as six consecutive pars, five of which could have been converted into birdies, left him frustratingly short.
With the big crowd on the stands at the 18th willing him on, McLardy had a 25-foot putt to get into a playoff, but it fell two feet short.
Retief Goosen, who started the final round just one off the pace, endured a horrible day: His card was littered with nine bogeys, six of which came on the homeward nine as he crashed out of contention.
He finished with a bang, however, entertaining the crowd with a 228-metre albatross on the 18th. Ultimately, his round was a disappointment as he closed with a three-over-par 74.
Behind the duel between Hansen and McLardy, Scotsman David Drysdale quietly shot a two-under-par 69 to ease himself into third place, ahead of the young Danny Willett of England.
Willett shared fourth with third-round leader Charl Schwartzel and fellow-South African Tyrone van Aswegen.
Schwartzel, after a superb 63 in the third round, that included a hole-in-one on the 12th, had a frustrating final round, shooting 70, but spending most of his time trying to bail himself out of bad spots or making up for his four bogeys.
Defending champion Richard Sterne, who was attempting to join Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo as the only men to win three successive European Tour events in succession, had to settle for 12th place. His scorecard was hampered by far too many bogeys, and his final blitz of five birdies in eight holes in his final round was counterbalanced by two more bogeys.
Source: Sunshine Tour