South Africa’s Branden Grace secured a first victory of 2017 by grabbing a one-shot win on home soil at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City.
Watched on by tournament host Gary Player, the world No.44 fired a bogey-free 66 at Gary Player Country Club to edge ahead of playing partners Scott Jamieson and Victor Dubuisson, who all had spells top of the leaderboard during the final round.
Grace began the day three strokes off the pace, but fired six birdies in a flawless display in front of his home fans, with overnight leader Jamieson a shot back on 10 under, and Dubuisson a further stroke adrift.
Reaching the turn one ahead, Dubuisson joined his playing partners in posting a two-putt gain at the 10th, but lost his lead when he failed to match Grace and Jamieson’s birdies at the par-five 14th.
The Frenchman then slipped out of a three-way tie for the lead with a bogey at the 15th, as Grace drained a crucial 40-foot putt at the par-three 16th to jump into the outright lead.
Jamieson got up-and-down from the rough to save par at the 16th after getting a deflection off a grandstand, but saw his hopes ended when he missed the green with his approach in to the last.
Grace found the heart of the green and two-putted for par to close out a first worldwide victory since April last year.
Li Haotong fired a final round 64 to take fourth place ahead of Martin Kaymer, with Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick posting matching 69s to finish tied-sixth and tied-eighth respectively.
Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood finished in a share of 10th to extend his advantage to 250,000 points over Justin Rose at the top of the standings, leaving him firm favourite to end 2017 as European No.1 at next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.