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

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South African golfer Thriston Lawrence
South African golfer Thriston Lawrence
Luke Walker/Getty Images

South African golfer Thriston Lawrence clinched a nervy win to reign victorious at the Investec South African Open Championship at Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate on Sunday. 

Lawrence led by five shots overnight but struggled in the final day's heat as he carded a final round of two-over 74 to clinch a one-shot victory in front of a roaring crowd in Lanseria.

"It's really sweet, it's nice to say that I could stay in the moment and finish it off and I'm glad I could finish it off," Lawrence told reporters on Sunday.

It's Lawrence's third DP World Tour title after winning last year's Joburg Open, sealing the European Masters in Switzerland in August and now winning his national title.

Lawrence became the first South African to win the DP World Tour's Rookie of the Year award, and his win at Blair Atholl solidified his stance as SA's best golfer on the scene.

It wasn't the most polished final round for Lawrence, as his double bogey on the 15th and bogey on the 16th put him tied with Frenchman Clement Sordet.

Sordet dropped a shot on the 17th and Lawrence had a one-shot lead walking up to the final green.

"There was a lot of emotions, walking up 18, not just about myself, it's about my friends and family. You don't want to disappoint, especially in this matter," said Lawrence.

"I was quite far ahead, I had five to go and then, only one ahead with one to go. I wouldn't say I was nervous, but it was more a weird feeling.

"That's the feeling that you want and I'm just so proud of myself to manage to pull through."

There were moments when Lawrence had to recollect himself, but he knew he had a job to do at the end of the day.

"I tried to get my head away from the golf, it's obviously a stressful moment, but I tried to relax and enjoy it," said Lawrence.

"It is a tournament, you want to enjoy it, but it's your job and you're just trying to get to your happy place."

Meanwhile, Christiaan Maas won the Freddie Tait Cup for the leading amateur as he ended the week on five-under par with a final round of 77.

*News24 Sport is at Blair Atholl courtesy of Investec

Leading scores after final round of the DP World Tour (European Tour) South African Open at Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate in Johannesburg on Sunday (RSA unless stated, Par 72):

272 - Thriston Lawrence 64-67-67-74

273 - Clement Sordet (FRA) 68-66-66-73

274 - Jens Fahrbring (SWE) 65-70-69-70

277 - Matti Schmid (GER) 66-73-69-69

278 - Daniel Brown (ENG) 71-70-69-68, Dean Burmester 70-71-66-71, Chase Hanna (USA) 69-73-69-67, Marcel Siem (GER) 69-68-70-71

279 - Wu Ashun (CHN) 71-67-67-74, Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 67-70-70-72, Hennie du Plessis 70-72-67-70, Jaco Prinsloo 70-71-68-70, Jayden Schafer 68-72-70-69, Charl Schwartzel 68-74-69-68

280 - M. J. Daffue 71-64-73-72, Scott Jamieson (SCO) 66-71-72-71, Tom McKibbin (ENG) 67-71-73-69, Wilco Nienaber 67-69-70-74, Renato Paratore (ITA) 70-70-69-71, Martin Simonsen (DEN) 73-68-65-74, Richard Sterne 69-71-74-66, Ockie Strydom 70-63-75-72

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