JOHANNESBURG: South African Richard Sterne took charge of Sunday’s fourth round to coast to victory in the Joburg Open, his first win on golf’s European Tour since 2008.
Sterne carded an eight-under-par 64 for a tournament total of 260, seven shots ahead of second-placed Charl Schwartzel.
After finishing second in the Dubai Desert Classic last weekend, Sterne got his reward for some consistent golf that featured just one dropped shot in his four rounds at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.
“Sterne went into the final round tied on 19 under par with compatriot Trevor Fisher Jnr, but the latter carded a disappointing 73 to finish in tied-sixth position.
Schwartzel birdied 17 and 18 to card a 66 to take second place with a 20-under-par tournament total of 267. That took him ahead of Portugal’s Ricardo Santos.
The 2013 Joburg Open is Sterne’s sixth European Tour victory.
Teenager Lydia Ko became the youngest winner of a women’s European Tour golf event when she took victory at the New Zealand Women’s Open in Christchurch on Sunday.
The New Zealander cried with joy after winning her third professional title from 12 events at the age of 15 years, eight months and 17 days.
Ko, who made a three-foot putt on the final hole to finish on 206, one ahead of American Amelia Lewis, beat the record set by South Korean Amy Yang, who was aged 16 years, six months and eight days when she won the Ladies Masters in Australia as an amateur in 2006. Ko became the third amateur to win on the women’s European Tour, after Gillian Stewart, at the 1984 European Open, and Yang.
Two share lead
Brandt Snedeker, runner-up to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in the past two weeks, fired a four-under par 68 Saturday to share the lead after 54 holes at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Snedeker, a 32-year-old American who won last year’s PGA playoff crown, stood alongside Korean-American PGA rookie James Hahn on 12-under 202.