22 November 2011
South Africa’s Garth Mulroy scored his maiden PGA European Tour victory in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek on Sunday to record the 100th win by a South African on the Tour.
His previous best results had been finishing as runner-up in the Joburg Opens of 2011 and 2008.
Mulroy’s victory takes to six the number of South African wins on the European Tour this season. Previous winners include Ernie Els (South African Open Championship), Louis Oosthuizen (Africa Open), Charl Schwartzel (Joburg Open and the US Masters), and Thomas Aiken (Spanish Open).
Mulroy sealed his win in the event, which is co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour, with a stunning 80-foot putt for birdie on the 16th. It was the last of his four birdies on the inward nine, a day after he had sunk five in succession on his way to an eight-under-par 64.
Questioned about the length of his putt on the 16th afterwards, Mulroy told the Sunshine Tour: “From here to the car park!”
His winning cheque of €158 500 (approximately R1.77-million) was the biggest of his career.
Mulroy finished on 19-under-par 269, after three sub-70 rounds of 69, 68, 64, and 68. Scotland’s George Murray, the only other man to go under 70 for all four of his rounds, finished in second place on 17-under-271 after closing with a 67.
Best ever result
It was a best ever result for the Scotsman, whose previous best was a third place in this year’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at Saint Andrews.
There was a four-way tie for third between rising star George Coetzee, Jaco van Zyl, Scotland’s Peter Whiteford and Chile’s Felipe Aquilar on 13-under 275.
Two-time champion, Pablo Martin of Spain, had a forgettable tournament, carding rounds of 81 and 82 for a two round total of 19-over-par 163, which was 18 shots over the cut.
South African Open
The attention of the PGA European Tour and the Sunshine Tour now turns to the co-sanctioned South African Open, which takes place at the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.
Five-time winner Ernie Els is the defending champion, but will face a tough challenge from a quality field that includes two-time champion Retief Goosen, George Coetzee, Jaco van Zyl, Thomas Aiken, , 2007 winner James Kingston, Soren Kjeldsen, Jbe Kruger, and Hennie Otto.
The 1986 and 1999 champion David Frost, aged 52, is also in the field.
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