Golf

Coetzee wins Telkom PGA

2011-02-27 17:22
George Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - George Coetzee put two years of self-doubt behind him with a two-stroke victory in the Telkom PGA Championship at Country Club Johannesburg on Sunday.

On a final day of unbelievable scoring, Coetzee birdied his last two holes for a 64 and the title on a staggering 27 under par for the biggest win of his career.

And he had to put every ounce of belief in himself into a final round in which Branden Grace played his heart out before two crushing bogeys late on the back nine, Neil Schietekat threw himself fearlessly into a terrific battle for the lead, and Garth Mulroy stormed through the field with a 64.

"It was a tough battle. A lot tougher than I thought it would be," said Coetzee, who claimed his fourth Sunshine Tour victory, but his first since 2008.

"I've been worried for two years now about my ability to pull it off coming down the stretch. So I'm very happy I could do that. The last two years have been tough. I've really struggled with my game, and worked hard on it. But while you're battling, the question is always whether you'll be able to get out of that rut. I'm glad I answered that today." Coetzee provided his most emphatic answer to that question on the back nine, and ironically at a moment when the pressure was most telling.

"We were put on the clock on the 14th hole, which I thought was a pity considering we were only one hole behind and in the final group. I knew it was going to make a difference, so I made sure it didn't make a difference to me. I kept telling myself to still play my own game. Actually, I think it helped me because I committed to my shots faster rather than leaving time to doubt myself," said Coetzee.

For Grace though, it was a critical moment in his title hopes. He bogeyed holes 15 and 16, and that ended his title hopes as he signed for a 69 and a share of third with Mulroy on 23 under.

But Schietekat kept up the pressure on Coetzee, finishing with three straight birdies for a 66 and second place on 25 under.

If Coetzee gave himself the answer to his ability to win at the highest level, he didn't have an answer for the most obvious question of joining some of the greatest names in South African golf on the trophy.

"I've tried the whole week to stay in the moment and not to think about that, so maybe I'll do so on Monday. To be honest, I just wanted to have my own parking space next year."

Scores (RSA unless specified):

261 - George Coetzee 65 64 68 64
263 - Neil Schietekat 68 65 64 66
265 - Garth Mulroy 68 66 67 64, Branden Grace 65 64 67 69
266 - Oliver Bekker 65 71 65 65
268 - Divan van den Heever 69 63 68 68
270 - Hennie Otto 66 64 69 71
271 - Adam Hadwin (CAN) 66 71 67 67
272 - Bradford Vaughan 69 70 65 68, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 68 71 65 68, Chris Swanepoel 67 67 68 70
273 - Keith Horne 68 71 66 68
274 - Jbe' Kruger 67 70 72 65, Omar Sandys 71 67 69 67, Mark Murless 66 67 68 73
275 - Josh Cunliffe 73 65 69 68, Louis de Jager 69 67 69 70
276 - James Kingston 70 68 72 66, Trevor Fisher Jnr 68 71 70 67, Tjaart van der Walt 72 69 68 67, Vaughn Groenewald 71 63 74 68, ustin Harding 73 66 69 68, Charl Coetzee 70 69 69 68, Peter Karmis 71 66 67 72
277 - Alan Michell 70 71 70 66, Christiaan Basson 68 73 69 67, Andre Cruse70 71 68 68, Doug McGuigan 68 69 69 71
278 - James Kamte 71 68 71 68, Adilson da Silva (BRA) 71 70 69 68, Alex Haindl 70 68 71 69, Jean Hugo 71 70 67 70, Deane Pappas 66 67 74 71, Tyrone Ferreira 69 66 71 72, TC Charamba (ZIM) 68 69 69 72
279 - Bruce McDonald (ZIM) 72 69 72 66, Thomas Aiken 70 70 71 68, Anton Haig 65 71 71 72, Jaco Van Zyl 72 69 65 73
280 - Andrew Georgiou 69 70 73 68, Dean O'Riley 69 70 70 71
281 - Allan Versfeld 72 67 73 69, Ashley Roestoff 73 69 69 70, Alan McLean (SCO) 70 72 69 70, Jacques Blaauw 70 67 72 72, Christian Ries 68 69 71 73, Ryan Cairns (ZIM) 68 70 70 73, Jake Roos 69 73 66 73
282 - Desvonde Botes 74 68 71 69, Darren Fichardt 67 69 76 70, David Hewan 70 71 69 72, Ulrich van den Berg 70 70 67 75
283 - Derek Scullard 69 72 77 65, Johan Bekker 74 67 74 68
284 - Jeremy Kavanagh (ENG) 71 71 72 70, Ryan Strauss 66 71 76 71, Darryn Lloyd 65 75 71 73
285 - Darren Blair 71 69 73 72, Jeff Inglis (ENG) 70 71 72 72
286 - Callie Swart 72 70 73 71, Ockie Strydom 68 71 73 74Burmester 70 69 71 77, Matthew Carvell 68 67 72 80
288 - Albert Pistorius 67 73 75 73
289 - Tyrone Mordt 72 69 74 74, Bennie van der Merwe 72 65 73 79
291 - Brett Liddle 68 72 77 74
292 - Walter Els 71 71 72 78

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