Tommy Fleetwood wins Nedbank Golf Challenge after superb par save in play-off

17 November 2019, 13:20 | Updated: 17 November 2019, 15:15

Tommy Fleetwood pulled off a stunning par save at the first extra hole to snatch the Nedbank Golf Challenge title after a play-off against Marcus Kinhult in Sun City.

Fleetwood blocked his second from an awkward lie in the right rough and had little room for error with his third from the drop zone to the right of the green, but he pitched an exquisite chip in the fringe and his ball came to rest five feet from the flag.

Kinhult was unable to go at the green in two after pulling his drive too far left, although he did well to salvage a bogey from 10 feet before Fleetwood held his nerve to rattle in the winning putt to claim his first victory of the season, and his first since the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship last January.

The Englishman had earlier stormed into contention with a spectacular closing 65 which featured three eagles and lifted him to 12-under par as the challenges of the final threesome - Zander Lombard, Louis Oosthuizen and Thomas Detry - faded on the final day.

Fleetwood also piled the pressure on Bernd Wiesberger at the top of the Race to Dubai standings ahead of next week's season finale in Dubai, where the Austrian's lead will be just over 800 points after he endured a poor finish at the Gary Player Country Club.

A third-round 73 had left Fleetwood six shots off the pace overnight, but he made a positive start on Sunday as he birdied three of the first six holes, and a bold second to the par-five ninth was rewarded when he chipped in for the first of his three eagles.

The second followed at the very next hole as Fleetwood suddenly vaulted to 12 under par, but he then bogeyed the 11th and 12th before repairing the damage with one sweet swing of a three-wood at the long 14th and a perfect 10-foot putt for another three.

Fleetwood's putter was on target again as he holed for birdie at 15, although he gave the shot straight back when he lipped out for par at the short 16th, and he parred safely in to set the clubhouse target at 12 under.

Wiesberger had given himself a great chance to pick up his fourth win of a stellar season when three consecutive birdies after the turn got him to 11 under, but he bogeyed 15 and 16 and then double-bogeyed the last to slip into a share of third place with Jason Scrivener (70) and Detry (74).

Oosthuizen's hopes of a big home win were scuppered when he bogeyed four of the last five holes, while overnight leader Lombard managed only one birdie on the final day as he stumbled to a 77 to finish six strokes behind.

But with several leading contenders falling by the wayside, Kinhult maintained his drive after starting with three straight birdies and adding another at the sixth before the Swede stalled with a bogey at the seventh.

Kinhult was then unable to find birdies at any of the three remaining par-fives, although he did get a putt to drop for a three at the 15th before he parred home to stay tied at the top with Fleetwood, the leading pair finishing 72 holes four shots clear of the field.

But Kinhult's errant drive at the last left him with no option but to lay up, and he then went long with his third before keeping his hopes alive with a spirited putt for bogey, only for Fleetwood to produced one of the best pitches of his career before dropping the winning putt in the middle of the cup.