Minnesota Golf Association

Coetzee's Birdie Spree Gives Him Tshwane Crown Again; Van Rooyen Is 10th

March 4, 2018

WATERKLOOF, South Africa -- After getting off to a scratchy start, which turned a two-shot lead into a two-shot deficit, George Coetzee rattled off five birdies in an eight-hole stretch on Sunday. A 94-minute rain delay cooled him off a bit, but by then he was well on his way to victory in the Tshwane Open. 

It was the 31-year-old South African's second victory in this tournament, which is played on his home course, Pretoria Country Club. He closed the deal with a 4-under-par 67, which gave him a 72-hole total of 266 -- and 163,607 euros. 

Englishman Sam Horsfield birdied the last three holes to shoot 67 and pull ahead of Finland's Mikko Korhonen in the contest for second place. Horsfield ended up at 268, two behind Coetzee. Although he couldn't hold off Horsfield, Korhonen did manage to birdie the 514-yard, par-5 18th hole for a 68, and that gave him third place all to himself at 269.

Sebastien Gros of France and South African Daniel Van Tonder had the best totals for the weekend (66-65--131 for both), and that earned them a tie for fourth at 270, along with Felipe Aguilar of Chile. Aguilar shot 67. 

Erik Van Rooyen, a South African who played college golf at the University of Minnesota, started the final round tied for fourth, four behind Coetzee. An early birdie had him tied for third, at 11 under, but he went backwards from there. Bogeys at the 10th, 15th and 16th holes dropped him to minus 8 and out of the top 10. The 28-year-old from Johannesburg rallied at the end of the round, with birdies at the 17th and 18th holes to end up where he started (minus 10). His 71 put him at 274 and he finished alone in 10th place.

That was worth 20,231 euros. He has made 172,060 euros so far in the 2017-18 season and ranks 27th on the European Tour Order of Merit.    

The Tshwane Open was co-sponsored by the Sunshine (South African) Tour. Van Rooyen was leading the Sunshine Order of Merit going into the week, but Coetzee's check translated into 2,377,500 South African rands, and that vaulted him into the top spot, with 2,937,226 rands in six events. Van Rooyen, who is now No. 2 in the standings, made the equivalent of 294,000 rands in Waterkloof. So he has 2,359,847 in six events, with one tournament remaining on the 2017-18 schedule -- the Sunshine Tour Championship, March 14-17 at the Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate in Kempton Park.  


Tshwane Open

At Pretoria Country Club

Par 71, 7,081 yards

Waterkloof, South Africa

Final results 

1. George Coetzee, RSA      163,607 euros           67-64-68-678--266

2. Sam Horsfield, England    113,544 euros           68-69-64-67--268

3. Mikko Korhonen, Finland    76,591 euros           68-64-69-68--269

T4. Felipe Aguilar, Chile          43,284 euros          65-67-71-67--270

T4. Sebastien Gros, France    43,284 euros          69-70-66-65--270

T4. Daniel Van Tonder, RSA    43,284 euros          67-72-66-65--270

7. Scott Jamieson, Scotland    30,450 euros          67-69-67-68--271

T8. Thomas Aiken, RSA           23,844 euros          65-7-67-70--273

T8. Pedro Oriol, Spain              23,844 euros          71-69-71-62--273

10. Erik Van Rooyen, RSA      20,231 euros         68-68-67-71--274


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