Jamieson toasts maiden victory

12/9/2012 4:20:48 PM
Scott Jamieson - 2013 winner  (Getty Images)
Scott Jamieson - 2013 winner (Getty Images)
Scott Jamieson held off England's Steve Webster and Spaniard Eduardo de la Riva in a play-off to land his first European Tour title at The Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa.

The 29 year old Scot started the day six shots off the pace but, with the event shortened to a 36-hole sprint after heavy rain washed out the first two days, a blistering 57 on the shortened Royal Durban layout proved good enough for a share of top spot once all 156 players had finished.

Webster and De La Riva had already set the clubhouse benchmark at seven under par with rounds of 60 and 61 before Jamieson finished, and all three then had to wait several hours to see if any of the afternoon starters would surpass them.

First round joint-leader Tim Clark looked most likely when he followed eight straight pars with an approach to two feet at the ninth and then holed a putt from the fringe at the tenth to make it a four-way tie at the top.

But needing to birdie one of the last two for an outright win the South African bunkered his approach to the 17th, went over the green and three-putted from there for a double bogey six.

The first trip back down the 18th saw three whittled down to two as De La Riva bogeyed, and when Webster found trouble down the left on the second extra hole back-to-back pars handed Jamieson the title.

“To get your name on any European trophy is a fantastic achievement,” said Jamieson, “but it’s a little more special when it’s for someone like Nelson [Mandela].

“At the start of the day I probably didn’t think I would be standing here holding the trophy; but I knew I needed a fast start and I was lucky enough to get that.

“It's amazing; I've got to give a special mention to my wife Natalie, my family, Nike golf, everyone at my home club of Cathkin Braes in Scotland and all the other people who has ever helped me get to his point. I couldn't have done it without them."

De la Riva, who less than a fortnight ago came through The European Tour Qualifying School for the first time in ten years, was left to rue not only failing to get up and down from a bunker in the play-off, but also a closing bogey in his second round 61.

Webster, who had the second of his two victories in Portugal more than five years ago, almost clinched victory on the first extra hole when his 30 foot birdie putt came up just short.

Next time round, though, he could not recover from pulling his drive into thick rough.

Earlier, Jamieson could have won it outright on the 305 yard ninth - his last - when he drove the green, but just missed a 12 foot eagle attempt.

He had earlier gone to the turn in a five under 26 that included four birdie twos on the modified par-65 Royal Durban Course, which will prevent his scores entering the record books.

“I’ve had a nice steady progress the last four years,” he added. “This is my third season on The European Tour, so to get off to a winning start is fantastic.

“I was pretty nervous [in the play-off] but that’s why we play – to get into that situation. Those guys would have been nervous too so it’s just who plays the best golf. You’ve just got to stand up and give it a go.”

Joint fourth a stroke behind were Clark, German Max Kieffer, Dane Morten Orum Madsen and England's Matthew Nixon.