Centurion – Thriston Lawrence endured a roller-coaster final round to win the South African Open by one shot at Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Lawrence fired a closing two-over 74 to end on 16-under, one stroke ahead of France’s Clement Sordet while Sweden’s Jens Fahbring was third on 14-under.
Beginning the final round with a two-shot lead, Lawrence had increased that advantage to five with eight holes left. However, a string of dropped shots saw him play holes 12 to 16 in five-over as he was joined by Sordet on 16-under with two holes to play.
Fortunately for Lawrence, Sordet dropped a shot on the par-3 17th which allowed the now three-time DP World Tour winner to close out his tournament with two pars to claim victory.
“It’s not over until the fat lady sings and I got a little conservative over the closing stretch and it cost me. I managed to hang in there, it’s what you strive for and play for every day. Being a kid (in SA) you dream of this moment,” said Lawrence afterwards.
“I’m just so pleased, words can’t describe it.”
The next best South African on the leaderboard was Dean Burmester on 10-under for the week in a share of fifth. The 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel also had a good week with a nine-under total in a tie for ninth.
Meanwhile, Christiaan Maas ended on five-under for the tournament in 35th place as he claimed the Freddie Tait Cup for the leading amateur.