Jamieson wins inaugural Mandela Champs
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) –
Scott Jamieson of Scotland won his first European Tour title at the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship at the Royal Durban Golf Club Sunday as the world peace icon underwent medical tests.
The 29-year-old beat England‘s Steve Webster and Spaniard Eduardo de la Riva on the second hole of a play-off. They were tied for the lead at seven-under 123 after the tournament was reduced to 36-holes with heavy rain washing out the first two days.
“To get your name on any European trophy is a fantastic achievement,” the 29-year-old said, “but it’s a little more special when it’s for someone like Nelson [Mandela],” he added while holding an unusual trophy sporting colourful miniatures of Mandela seated with an open book and surrounded by small children.
The proceeds of the tournament will go to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
Meanwhile, in the capital Pretoria, the 94-year-old Nobel Peace Laureate, after whom the tournament was named, spent the night in hospital for medical tests.
President Jacob Zuma found him “comfortable, and in good care” during a hospital visit.
Jamieson, having finished the first round outside the top 40 with one-over-par 66, fought back on Sunday to card eight-under-par 57 on the way to his maiden European Tour title.
Play was much swifter in the reduced tournament co-sanctioned by the European Tour and South Africa’s Sunshine Tour — the first time in ten years that two days were cut. Waterlogged conditions also delayed play the Thursday and Friday in the 2002 Portugal Open.
“I knew I had to get off to a fast start after a really mediocre round yesterday,” said the Glaswegian.
“I really had to get up and down to save par at ten and then I chipped in on eleven, which really got me going.”
“I built up some momentum from there, made three birdies in a row on the par threes, which doesnt happen often,” he added.
Having finished tied in the lead with Webster and De la Riva, he had to wait five hours before the play-off to see if any of the late-starting players caught up.
“I was pretty nervous for the playoff. But that’s why we play, we want to get in that situation and that’s what I kept telling myself. The other guys would have been nervous too, so it’s just a case of who plays the best golf,” Jamieson said afterwards.
De la Riva bogeyed the first play-off on the 18th hole, while Webster lost a stroke on the second to hand the on-par Scotsman the title.
He hoped the victory would help him to more successes this season.
“The goal is to try to break into the top-100 in the world rankings and get into the US PGA in August… There is also the US Open and British Open qualifier as well,” he said.
Overnight leaders Tim Clark from South Africa and Dane Morten Orum both shot one-under par 64 on the last day to finish third. Their total of six-under-par 124 was tied with those of Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer and Englishman Matthew Nixon.