European Tour

Sterne leads SA charge in St Andrews

2016-10-09 20:35
Richard Sterne (Gallo Images)

St Andrews – Richard Sterne received a major confidence boost with his best ever finish in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as he shared second place at the Old Course on Sunday.

The South African chipped in for birdie on the infamous Road Hole 17th on his way to a 66 and a total of 19 under par. England’s Ross Fisher birdied the last to join him there.

They both finished four strokes behind winner Tyrrell Hatton of England.

“I was 72 on the Order of Merit so I needed a decent week just to get into the last few events of the year, which you don’t want to miss. At least I’ve got a bit of a schedule to the end of the year now,” said Sterne.

Sterne’s previous best performances in this European Tour event were tied sixth in 2003 and 2014.

This performance also validates the hard work Sterne has done to come back from injury and be competitive again.

“It’s been really tough coming back from the injury. I’ve been putting in more effort over the last two years than I ever have.”

Sterne had a hip operation in 2014, but his swing suffered the effects of trying to play with the pain for six months. He’s been working hard ever since to correct this.

“I hit some really good shots this week and trusted myself a bit more. It was nice to see that I was hitting better golf shots. I also putted really nicely and felt relaxed.

“I’ve had sixth twice and now a second in this tournament, so hopefully I’ll get a win here one day. It would be nice to win on this 18th fairway.”

Scores

265 - Tyrrell Hatton 67 70 62 66

269 - Ross Fisher 65 68 69 67, Richard Sterne (RSA) 69 69 65 66

271 - Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 66 68 69 68

272 - Marc Warren 72 66 67 67

273 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 71 68 65 69

275 - Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 71 68 67 69, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 73 66 69 67, Florian Fritsch (GER) 68 71 65 71, Renato Paratore (ITA) 71 70 66 68

276 - Lasse Jensen (DEN) 71 69 66 70, Alex Noren (SWE) 64 71 73 68, David Horsey 72 69 66 69, Bradley Dredge 69 72 68 67

277 - Graeme McDowell 74 67 67 69, Jbe Kruger (RSA) 68 68 75 66, Tommy Fleetwood 72 67 70 68

278 - Richard Bland 70 69 70 69, Jordan Zunic (AUS) 70 71 67 70, Romain Wattel (FRA) 78 66 68 66, Mikko Ilonen (FIN) 73 71 67 67, Shane Lowry 72 68 72 66, Niclas Fasth (SWE) 72 69 68 69, Gregory Havret (FRA) 76 67 70 65

279 - Craig Lee 69 73 69 68, Jaco Ahlers (RSA) 70 71 69 69, Paul Dunne 72 72 66 69, George Coetzee (RSA) 72 69 69 69, Graeme Storm 71 72 69 67, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 71 73 66 69

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