Coetzee leads SA's charge
Johannesburg - The European Tour's Portugal Masters was flooded with South Africans, led by George Coetzee, at the top end of the leaderboard after Sunday's final round.
Coetzee finished in a tie for third on a total of 270 with rounds of 70, 69, 66, and 65 - three shots behind young Englishman Tom Lewis, on 21 under par, who claimed his maiden European Tour victory.
The long hitting South African began the final round in 18th position but raced to four under par after five holes.
He was unable to maintain the fast start, but without dropping a shot on the last day, he picked up three more coming home.
The Pretoria Country Club professional came into the week 32nd on the European Tour moneylist, and was expected to move inside the top 30 with his week's earnings at the back end of a breakthrough season.
Coetzee secured his card for the current season through the gruelling qualifying school at the end 2010.
Lying 102nd in the world rankings, he also looked set to break into the top 100 after his performance in Vilamoura.
Fellow South African James Kingston was two shots behind Coetzee in a tie for 11th.
Kingston began the week with an opening round of 64, but a two-under-par fourth round saw him drop down in the placings.
Hennie Otto finished on 15 under par, tied for 16th, after following up his third-round 63 with a one-under-par 71.
Thomas Aiken, despite a two under final round 70, for a total of 14 under for the week, also dropped down the leaderboard and had to settle for a share of 23rd.
Keith Horne had to endure a tough final round as well, shooting 75 and dropping from sixth place to a tie for 29th on 12 under par for the week.