Sweet Sixteen: 2011 Review

26/04/2012 14:11:29
Hennie Otto picked up the biggest win of his career at the SA Open Championship  (EuropeanTour)
Hennie Otto picked up the biggest win of his career at the SA Open Championship (EuropeanTour)

Hennie Otto overcame a nervous Sunday back nine to win his national title, the SA Open Championship, at the 16th time of asking. It was the 35 year old’s second European Tour triumph, following his win in the 2008 Italian Open, and one which moved him into the top 60 in The Race to Dubai and in with a good chance of making his debut in the season-ending Dubai World Championship presented by DP World.

Three strokes clear of his nearest challenger going into the final round, his advantage remained intact with a mere six holes to play before he gave the challenging pack – led by Austrian Bernd Wiesberger – hope with bogeys at the 13th, 15th and 16th.

However, Otto steeled himself admirably and used his prodigious length from the tee to good effect at the 365 yard 17th, driving through the green before chipping and putting for a crucial birdie three.

There was still the water on the final hole to negotiate but from a perfect drive he found the green safely and two putted for par and the title by a shot from Wiesberger, who notched his second runners-up finish of the year having lost out to Thomas Björn in the play-off for the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in August.

Joint third were South Africans Thomas Aiken and Ockie Strydom alongside Englishman Richard McEvoy who moved from 121st to 107th in The Race to Dubai, thus ensuring his playing privileges for the 2012 season.