Branden Grace has fired a tremendous closing round at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player to win his eighth career title on the European Tour.
The South African dazzled his home crowd to sign for a flawless six-under 66 after hitting all 18 greens in regulation.
Grace played alongside Victor Dubuisson and Scott Jamieson in the final group – and the trio shared the lead at 10-under-par with three holes to play.
But a clutch putt from 40 feet at the 16th hole moved Grace to 11 under, and would eventually result in a one-shot victory over Jamieson.
The 29-year-old becomes just the fourth South African – behind Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Trevor Immelman – to win ‘Africa’s Major’.
“This is the one event that as a South African you want to win,” Grace said. “It's Africa's Major for a reason and what a special place it is.”
Grace had a clear game plan from the outset and combined well with his caddy, Zack Rasego, to see it through.
“I told Zack, ‘if I can get it bogey-free today, we're going to be in there with a chance.’ And I managed to do that,” Grace said.
“I hit the ball superb and gave myself some chances. I didn't take all of them, but I did what I needed to do. It was great to finish the way I did and bogey-free … It was great to be able to pull it off.”
China’s Li Haotong shot the round of the day – an eight-under 64 – to move to fourth. While Sam Brazel was Australia’s best with a share of 42nd.
But the 28-year-old’s €33,405 cheque still wasn’t substantial enough to see him advance to next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, which represents the final stage of the Race to Dubai.
Brazel missed out by €24,852, meaning Andrew Dodt and Scott Hend will combine to form the Australian contingent in Dubai.