Lee Westwood showed once again that he is the new boss of the Nedbank Golf Challenge as he claimed his third title at Sun City on Sunday, a fabulous final-round 64 giving him victory by three strokes.
But the vanquished Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen were far more than just his minion employees as they both shot under-par on the final day and produced efforts they could be proud of, despite falling short.
“I played good golf, I attacked nicely and I made a lot of birdies, I made a good run at it. But Lee was great, to make five birdies in seven holes on the back nine was phenomenal. I had a good day, I played well and if I had screwed up a lead it would be a different story. I was just outplayed by all those birdies by Lee on the back nine and I wouldn’t do a whole lot differently if I had the chance,” Oosthuizen said after his 69 left him four strokes behind Westwood.
“Lee shot 64 which was an amazing round, simple as that. I would have loved three or four more birdies. But I’m happy for him, I played as hard as I could but I didn’t have my A-game other than the first round and this is a tough course. I fought hard, I stayed patient and all-in-all it’s been a positive week,” Garcia said after shooting 70 to finish second, three behind the Englishman.
Westwood is the oldest ever winner of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the age of 45, beating the record of 41-year-old Nick Price in 1998, and to shoot 64 to win on such a daunting course as the Gary Player Country Club, where danger lurks on every hole, is a magnificent performance.
The 2010 and 2011 winner was even impressed by his own play, becoming the first golfer to complete a hat-trick of titles at Sun City since Ernie Els in 2002.
David Frost (1989, 1990, 1992) and Price (1993, 1997, 1998) are the only other golfers to win the famous crystal ball trophy three times.
“It was a great round of golf with the wind moving around and when I looked at the pin-positions last night I saw there were a few smelly ones. So sometimes you had to play away from the flag and try and hit good areas with the flags in very small areas. I was pretty flawless in terms of playing into position, which is incredible because Sun City always drags you out of position.
“It was great to win again after four years and at 45 years old you’re never sure if you’ll taste victory again and you don’t know how long you will go on. But today showed I’ve still got it mentally, it was a great performance. I put the pressure on, they had to try and make birdies and they ended up making mistakes, that’s what sport is all about,” Westwood, who took his career winnings at Sun City past the $5 million dollar mark, said.