Westwood easily caps Sun City

2010-12-06 00:00

SUN CITY — Lee Westwood finished the Nedbank Golf Challenge the way a world number one should as he chipped in from 35 metres on the 18th to complete a dominating eight-shot victory in the $5-million tournament.

Both he and his nearest pursuer, Tim Clark, overshot the green on the final hole of the 7 162-metre Gary Player Country Club, and Westwood calmly stepped up and sank his chip.

“To chip in on the last when you’ve got a seven-shot lead,” said Westwood, “that’s the stuff that dreams are made of, I guess.”

His four-under-par 68 was the best round of the day — a score shared by Retief Goosen, who climbed from ninth to a share of third with his final round.

Clark carded a one-under 71, and that was the third of only four sub-par rounds on the final day, with Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez sinking a 15-footer for birdie with a matador flourish on the 18th to share third with Goosen.

The 17th caused a wobble for Westwood, but nothing that was enough to stop his solitary march to victory.

He hit his approach long and against the stand, and his chap after he was given relief rolled 10 feet past the hole.

His putt was just weak and he ended up making bogey for the second time in two rounds — but his nearest opposition was coming from Clark, who hit his approach into the water and would also end up making bogey.

“I was a bit disappointed by the bogey,” he said. “I really didn’t want to make a bogey today.

The seven-iron into the green I thought was perfect and the wind just dropped on me. It was always going to be a tough up-and-down from there.” But perhaps the reality for Westwood was that his nearest actual opposition was playing thousands of kilometres away in the Chevron Challenge in California — and even victory there is not enough for Tiger Woods to regain the number one ranking.

“It’s still something I’m trying to come to terms with,” said Westwood.

“There’s expectation whenever you turn up at tournaments and you have to fulfil that.

“But since I’ve become number one, I’ve finished second, third and first. So I think I can cope with it.”

Clark’s short game was sublime throughout the final round.

“I was looking for bunkers because I was doing so well out of them,” he laughed.

And his chip on 17 after he misread the yardage booklet and hit his four-iron 20 yards short was so nearly in for what would have been a miraculous par. “Just playing to my strength,” he said.

Behind the leaders, the challenge by Ross Fisher faded with a stomach bug which weakened him for much of the final two rounds, and he slid to a final 75 and a share of fifth with Ernie Els.

Westwood’s caddie Billy Foster also had the stomach bug, as did Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, whose performance of the final three rounds was substantially compromised and he brought up the rear of the 12-man field with his two-over-par 290 after his final 74.

Final scores

(RSA unless specified):

271 — Lee Westwood (ENG) 68 64 71 68

279 — Tim Clark 73 67 68 71

280 — Retief Goosen 72 70 70 68,

Miguel Angel Jiménez (ESP) 69 69 71 71

283 — Ernie Els 71 68 71 73,

283 — Ross Fisher (ENG) 67 68 73 75

285 — Robert Allenby (AUS) 70 70 73 72,

Padraig Harrington (IRL) 66 72 72 75

286 — Justin Rose (ENG) 70 72 72 72,

286 — Anders Hansen (DEN) 72 70 68 76

287 — Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 71 67 73 76

290 — Louis Oosthuizen 71 73 72 74

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