South Africa: Fleetwood Prevails in Thrilling Sun City Playoff

Sun City — Tommy Fleetwood waited 22 months for a win, and when it came it was big.

The Englishman won the richest first-place cheque on the European Tour this week of $2.5 million with his playoff victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player at the Gary Player Country Club on Sunday.

He did so with a final round of 65 including three eagles, and then beat Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult on the first extra hole of a playoff after both finished tied for the lead on 12-under par.

“Obviously I guess being a golfer these days, you have a chance at a young age to set your family up for life,” he said of the prize money.

But the victory was worth a whole lot more to him.

“I’m just very proud of that, really, and everybody that goes on the journey with you constantly. It’s just really, really cool when you win a tournament. It really is.”

Fleetwood started the final round six shots back of the leader, South Africa’s Zander Lombard. Louis Oosthuizen was also in the hunt at only one shot off the lead at the start of the final round.

But as both the South Africans faltered – with Oosthuizen finishing tied sixth and Lombard tied eighth – that opened the door for Fleetwood and Kinhult.

Fleetwood’s three eagles at holes nine, 10 and 14 took him through the field. And it was his third eagle on the par-five 14th that was indeed the #StrokeofGenius this tournament recognizes as he hit a three wood into the narrow green and to within 10 feet of the hole.