George Coetzee holds off Sam Horsfield to win Tshwane Open

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George Coetzee holds off Sam Horsfield to win Tshwane Open

Euro Tour

George Coetzee holds off Sam Horsfield to win Tshwane Open

Sam Horsfield took an important step toward a successful rookie European Tour season with a runner-up spot in the $1.2 million Tshwane Open, his highest finish since winning last year’s Qualifying School. However, he couldn’t stop home favorite George Coetzee from his fourth European Tour victory.

Former Florida player Horsfield birdied Pretoria Country Club’s final three holes in a closing 67 to finish second on his own. He earned approximately $140,000 to take a huge step in his quest to finish inside the top 110 to retain his playing rights for 2019.

The Ian Poulter protege began the tournament in 66th place on the European Tour money list but could move into the top 25 with just over $236,000 when the order of merit is updated after the conclusion of the WGC–Mexico Championship. Horsfield will need to earn in the region of $460,000 this year to keep his card.

It is Horsfield’s second top five of the season following fourth place in the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth. Unfortunately he’s also missed five cuts from his eight events.

Coetzee was always the favorite to take the title because he was competing on his home course. The Pretoria native earned his first European Tour victory since the 2015 Tshwane Open.

“A lot has happened since the last time I held that trophy,” Coetzee said. “I broke my ankle and I kind of needed to show myself that I could win on Tour again. It’s nice to come and do it again in front of the home crowd.

“They were amazing, I don’t think I could have done it without everybody out here supporting me the whole week.”

Coetzee began the final round with a two-shot lead but faltered early with consecutive bogeys at the third and fourth holes. A birdie at the sixth helped his cause, but another at the eighth set him on a birdie run. He made three straight birdies from the 11th to take control.

“On the eighth hole, I started making everything, me and the greens became one. That really made it easier for me to not worry so much about where I’m hitting it.”

Coetzee earned a check for just over $210,000. All four of his European Tour wins have been achieved in Africa.


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