Thu, 21 Jan 2021

South Africa's Christiaan Bezuidenhout claimed his second European Tour title after a composed bogey-free back nine of 34 handed him a four-shot victory at the 2020 Alfred Dunhill Championship on Sunday.

Leaderboard

The 26-year-old entered the final day at Leopard Creek Country Club three shots off the lead, and despite making a double and a bogey on the front nine to turn in 35, he had trimmed that gap to one at the turn.

As the rest of the leading contenders fought for their maiden victories, Bezuidenhout then used all of his experience to card three birdies on the way home in a 69 to finish at 14 under, clear of England's Richard Bland, American Sean Crocker, Pole Adrian Meronk and South African Jayden Schaper.

Bezuidenhout's route to the top has been a remarkable one.

He nearly died after accidentally drinking rat poison as a child, an event that saw him develop a stutter and anxiety, the medication for which led to him being handed a ban as an amateur.

Bezuidenhout was cleared of using any form of drug to enhance his performance, but his nine month exile from the game meant he missed the Eisenhower Trophy.

Those experiences have not held him back, however, with his victory at the 2019 Andalucia Masters handing him a major debut at The Open Championship, and he has now played in all of golf's four biggest events, finishing in the top 40 in his first appearance at the Masters earlier this month.

"It's incredible," he told the European Tour's official website. "This tournament has been close to my heart since I played it for the first time. It's always been a tournament I wanted to win and to pull it off today is really, really special to me.

"I'm proud of myself to stick in there and to have pulled it off round here.

"I played with Louis (Oosthuizen) and Charl (Schwartzel) in a practice round at Augusta and they said you can't play this course the way you played it with the previous grass on it. I never thought of it that way and I just came here with a different frame of mind and I played it like it's playing now - firm and fast."

Source: News24

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