Nov 18th, 2019
Tommy back on top of the pile
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
Nedbank Golf Challenge, Gary Player CC, Sun City, South Africa
Tommy Fleetwood came from six back to snatch the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City from the Swede Marcus Kinhult in a play-off. It is 22 months since Fleetwood’s last victory and it earned him $2.5 million and catapulted him into second place in the Race to Dubai.
Fleetwood was clearly fired up at the prospect of winning the Race to Dubai for a second time, he won in 2017. "It would be beautiful, wouldn't it? It would be amazing.” Said Fleetwood. "Everybody starts the Tour at the start of the season to get there, so to be one of the guys that can actually finish at the top is very special."
When Fleetwood teed it up on Sunday he must have believed he was playing for a top ten spot rather than the title. He was six shots behind the leader Zander Lombard with plenty of talent between him and the top of the leaderboard. However, an incredible round of 65 that included three eagles and four birdies as well as three bogeys shot the man from Southport, England to the top of the pile.
Overnight leader, Lombard had a day to forget as he stumbled to a closing 77 that was strewn with bogies and a double. The South African eventually finished six back from Fleetwood in joint eighth place.
A closing 68 from Kinhult left him at twelve under alongside Fleetwood at the top of the leaderboard. However. A poor drive at the first play-off hole handed the advantage to Fleetwood. The Swede had to play out sideways and could only make bogey leaving Fleetwood to tap in from three feet for a par and the biggest winner’s prize in European Tour history and his fifth title.
Austria's Bernd Wiesberger finished in joint third to cement his lead in the Race to Dubai. Fleetwood jumped up to second place with Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry and Matthew Fitzpatrick filling the next three slots.
The tournament finale in Dubai next week is worth a cool $3 million to the winner and the overall winner of the Race to Dubai will get an extra $2 million from a bonus pool of $5 million, which is shared out between the top five in the final standings.
For the final leaderboard click HERE
Mayakoba Golf Classic, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico,
Brendon Todd looked set for back to back wins at the Mayakoba Golf Classic on Sunday until a two-shot swing on the 13th and 14th hole left him tied with playing partner Vaughn Taylor at 20-under-par as darkness halted play.
“Today was a great day,” Todd said. “You know, I went out there and hit it well, shot 9-under-par with two bogeys. It doesn’t taste so great that the last one came on the last hole (the 14th), but it’s all right. I’m tied for the lead with three to play and excited about the opportunity.”
Harris English, the third member of their group, is just one back.
All three of the final group elected to mark on the par three 15th green, calling it a day after playing nearly 33 holes. Todd and English have birdie putts, while Taylor still has around six feet to salvage par. They players will return to the course at 7:30 a.m. ET today to finish the tournament.
Local favourite Carlos Ortiz of Guadalajara is still very much in the hunt for his first PGA Tour victory. Just a shot back, tied in third with English at 19 under, he still has the 18th hole to play.
Ortiz’s playing partners, Zach Johnson and Mark Hubbard elected to finish the round. Both players were not in contention and so understandably chose to finish off and get out of town. Ortiz, the only one in contention, chose to wait and play 18 in daylight.
“The whole point was to get in contention in the last nine holes,” Ortiz said. “I’m in contention with one hole to play. So, I mean, that's also the position I took of not finishing. I think I have a really good chance for tomorrow and I’m pretty proud the way I played.”
For the final leaderboard click HERE
There was no event this week but the top 60 players in the Race to the CME Globe standings for the 2019 LPGA Tour season are set for the CME Group Tour Championship, from Naples Florida this week. Any one of the competing sixty players will have a chance to be crowned the Race to the CME Globe Champion, and pick up the largest first-place prize in women’s golf history of $1.5 million.
Ladies European Tour
The next event for the LET is the Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de Espana between 28th November - 1st December 2019.
And another thing...