SUN CITY, South Africa – Tommy Fleetwood saved the best for last with a 67 in the final round to come from behind to retain his Nedbank Golf Challenge title on Sunday by ending a three-year winless drought.
The Englishman rose from a tie for seventh overnight to finish 11 under par overall and win by a stroke over New Zealander Ryan Fox (68), who had hoped to top the season standings with a victory in Sun City, but he missed it. after making a bogey in the last one.
Fleetwood won at Sun City in 2019 but was the defending champion after the 2020 and 2021 tournaments were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He kept his nerve when others around him faded on the final day, birdied four of his first nine and rallied from a bogey at No. 12 with an incredible eagle at par-5 No. 14 when he holed out of a bunker. He matched the rest of the way home to become the first player since compatriot Lee Westwood in 2011 to win back-to-back titles at Nedbank.
Fox led the first round after opening with an excellent 64, raising his hopes that he could win at Sun City and move past Rory McIlroy to the top of the European standings ahead of the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai next year. week.
He would have had a chance if not for bogey five in No. 18, his only bogey of the round, which allowed Fleetwood to win. Fox remains second in the season standings behind McIlroy, while Fleetwood is fourth heading to Dubai. McIlroy was not playing in the Nedbank Challenge.
Shubhankar Sharma (69) was third.
Rasmus Hojgaard and Thomas Detry had shared the lead for the third round, but could not hold out during a rain-interrupted final day. Hojgaard shot a 4 out of 76 to finish tied for eighth, while Detry’s final round 77 saw him drop to part of 13th.
European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald was another man who had a chance to get to the middle of the road, but his quest for a first European or PGA TOUR title in a decade came undone over the weekend when he shot 73 and 75 in his last two rounds to go one. of those tied with Detry for 13th place.