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.
At Pretoria Country Club
Par 71, 7,081 yards
Waterkloof, South Africa
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