Lawrence elated after special SA Open triumph: 'Hopefully, many more wins to come'

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South African golfer Thriston Lawrence
South African golfer Thriston Lawrence
Carl Fourie/Gallo Images/Sunshine Tour
  • Thriston Lawrence has little time to celebrate his Investec South African Open Championship title as he prepares for the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
  • Lawrence captured his third DP World Tour title on Sunday and is on the verge of closing off a stunning breakthrough year.
  • The South African says experience helped him as he held his nerve at Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate to win his national Open.

South African golfer Thriston Lawrence admits that experience helped him seal his third DP World Tour title on Sunday at the Investec South African Open at Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate.

Lawrence had a five-shot lead heading into the final round and carded a two-over 74 to get over the line by one stroke at 16-under par. 

READ | Thriston Lawrence holds nerve for SA Open victory: 'You don't want to disappoint' 

On the final hole, Lawrence had a one-stroke lead over Frenchman Clement Sordet and could afford a three-putt from the fringe to the green to clinch his national Open title.

This isn't the first title Lawrence has had to show nerves of steel to clinch victory. In August, he sealed a dramatic playoff triumph to beat Englishman Matt Wallace at the European Masters in Switzerland.

Lawrence, who was a two-time SA Amateur champion and became the only South African amateur to win the prestigious Lytham Trophy in 2014, believes winning in dire situations comes with experience.

"Inside, not always. I think it comes with experience, once you're in situations like this, you get older in that sense," Lawrence told reporters in Lanseria on Sunday.

"You know, once you're in final pairings and when you come up down the stretch on 18, and once you win, it all adds up to the experience.

"It's big mentally, you try to tell yourself to think of the present and not of the past. It took me a long time, I was a bit aggressive when I was younger, it took me time to get my mentality to where it is at the moment."

This SA Open win sees Lawrence earn a deserved €242 179 (R4.4 million) for his victory and sees him climb up to a career-best World Golf Ranking position.

"Unbelievable. It's a dream come true for me. This is the one you want to win - your national Open," said Lawrence.

"It was so special to have Gary Player watching as well. He's won 13 of these, and now I've got one as well. It's what you dream of. This means everything to me. This is by far my best victory ever."

Apart from his two DP World Tour wins this season, Lawrence has six Top 10 finishes and he's become the first South African to be named the DP World Tour's Rookie of the Year.

"I mean, obviously, the grind never stops, but yeah, it's it's been a great year," said Lawrence.

"Hopefully, many more wins to come, but I think what helped me to get three victories is to keep everything the same. You know, keep the management, practice and all the routines the same and. That's what helped me a lot this year."

Thriston Lawrence
South African golfer Thriston Lawrence

Lawrence won't have long to soak in his SA Open glory as he quickly turns his attention to Leopard Creek next week for the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

It's been a busy year for Lawrence, having played 32 events and is currently on his fifth consecutive week of competitive action, starting from the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City.

Lawrence insists that he won't lose focus next week as Leopard Creek holds a special place in his heart.

"Luckily, we in the bush, so you get that relaxed feeling. I'm not sure if I'm probably gonna have a hangover still on Thursday," joked Lawrence.

"I'm gonna give my best, I'm from Nelspruit so I'm not too far from Leopard Creek. Leopard Creek is a special place for me so I'm definitely going to go there and try and win."

*News24 Sport is at Blair Atholl courtesy of Investec

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