Kaymer holds off Schwartzel
Martin Kaymer (Gallo Images)
Sun City - Martin
Kaymer held on through the final five holes for a 2-shot victory at the
Nedbank Golf Challenge at a rainy Sun City on Sunday, earning the
German his first title of 2012 and something else to celebrate alongside
a momentous Ryder Cup-retaining putt at Medinah.
finished with an 8-under 280 ahead of South Africa's Charl Schwartzel
in second. Kaymer and Schwartzel both closed with 69s, but Schwartzel's
bogey on No 17 after closing to within one eventually gave Kaymer
enough breathing space.
always tight. Charl played a great round of golf," Kaymer said, adding
he only felt comfortable once his par putt on 18 had dropped to confirm
his victory. "I was telling (my caddie) I need a win. I need a win in
Video highlights: Nedbank Golf Challenge, Day 4
Kaymer was twice in
trouble toward the end, first pulling his tee shoot deep into the rough
on the par-5 No 14. He blasted out through the trees and into the
middle of the fairway and eventually made a brilliant birdie.
then bogeyed No 15 to allow Schwartzel to get within one shot, but
recovered his composure with pars on the last three to close out a first
win since November 2011.
Bill Haas was third on 3 under, a shot ahead of Kaymer's final-round
playing partner, South African Louis Oosthuizen, who was fourth on 2
under. Two-time defending champion Lee Westwood's run at Sun City ended
with a 73 for a 1-under 287 total and fifth place.
rest of the 12-man field were all over par through four rounds at a
tough Gary Player Country Club layout, where narrow fairways, stubborn
rough, gusty winds and - on Sunday - steady rain made scoring
consistently difficult. No one shot better than 69 all week.
eagled the par-5 No 2, double-bogeyed No 3, then had three birdies
before his crucial recovery on the 14th. Deep in trouble, he found his
way out of the bushes and put his third to within 10 feet. He made the
birdie putt to ensure he had enough of an advantage through the closing
Kaymer's win was his
first since the WGC HSBC Champions last year and earned him a $1.25m check at the end of a memorable year that was still marked more
than anything else, he said, by that putt at the Ryder Cup.
"I will still never do a bigger putt in my life," Kaymer said.
He also completed a German double at Sun City this week after Bernhard Langer won the seniors' event.
attempt to become the first player to win three straight Nedbank titles
ended at the telling 14th hole, where the No 6-ranked Englishman took
two shots to get out of the rough, then found the bunker and missed a
bogey putt to come away with a challenge-ending double-bogey seven.
him, Paul Lawrie was sixth on 1-over 289, Francesco Molinari and Carl
Pettersson were tied for seventh on 2 over and Peter Hanson was ninth on
Nicolas Colsaerts, Justin Rose and Garth Mulroy were 10th, 11th, and 12th respectively.
Scores after the final round of the
Nedbank Golf Challenge invitation tournament at the par-72, 7 162m Gary
Player Country Club on Sunday:
280 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 72-69-70-69
282 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 72-71-70-69
285 - Bill Haas (USA) 70-73-71-71
286 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 71-72-69-74
287 - Lee Westwood (ENG) 71-73-70-73
289 - Paul Lawrie (SCO) 71-69-75-74
290 - Francesco Molinari (ITA) 72-71-78-69, Carl Pettersson (SWE) 72-75-74-69
291 - Peter Hanson (SWE) 72-73-73-73
293 - Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) 70-78-74-71
295 - Justin Rose (ENG) 73-79-69-74
297 - Garth Mulroy (RSA) 75-73-75-74