Tommy Fleetwood soars like an eagle to win Nedbank

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Tommy Fleetwood soars like an eagle to win Nedbank

Euro Tour

Tommy Fleetwood soars like an eagle to win Nedbank

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Tommy Fleetwood reeled off three eagles in six holes to come through the field to win the $7.5 million Nedbank Golf Challenge in a playoff with Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult.

The Englishman began the final round six shots off the lead, but returned a 7-under-par 65 to live up to his billing as the highest-ranked player in the field. The world number 18 made three birdies in the first six holes before eagling the ninth, 10th and 14th holes, all par 5s. It helped him reach 12 under to tie with Kinhult. Fleetwood won at the first extra hole to earn his fifth European Tour victory.

Fleetwood picked up his first win of the season. He also lifted a check for $2.5 million to move to second on the Race to Dubai behind Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, who placed joint third. Kinhult earned $845,000 and rises 26 places to ninth on the Race to Dubai.

Nedbank Golf Challenge: Leaderboard

“The money is not that important because I guess being a golfer these days you have the chance at a young age to set your family up for life,” Fleetwood said. “It’s just really, really cool to win a tournament and I’m choking up here.”

Tommy Fleetwood plays his third shot on the 18th hole in the playoff at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player on Nov. 17, 2019 in Sun City, South Africa. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

The 28-year-old won the Race to Dubai two years ago, but will have to play well next week to overhaul Wiesberger from the top of the pecking order after the Austrian bolstered his points total with his third-place finish.

“It’s an absolute privilege to get to the last event with a chance to win the Race to Dubai,” Fleetwood added. “It’s an amazing thing to have in your carer and it’s one of the things I’m most proud of.

“I’ll start thinking about next week at a later date. The closer it gets to the end of the season the harder it gets to stay in the present, do your thing and concentrate on what you do best. But I’m happy for the challenge and I’m very ready. I mean I might go out next week and play terrible, but that’s golf and this experience will live with me forever.”

And with Kinhult. Those who weren’t convinced he had the game to become one of Europe’s greats when he won this year’s BetFred British Masters, should be now with this finish. The 23-year-old might have come out second on this occasion, but rest assured he’ll win many European Tour titles before his time is up.

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