Despite finishing in second place at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club, Kristoffer Broberg insisted that he was keeping his goals small in his rookie season on The European Tour.
The Swede, who burst into prominence in August 2012 thanks to four victories in just six starts on the Challenge Tour, a remarkable run that earned him instant promotion onto the top tier of European golf, fired a final round two under par 70 to capitalise on a disappointing finish from Frenchman Gregory Bourdy to claim second on his own, 12 shots behind runaway winner Charl Schwartzel.
“I actually played pretty badly again today, for the second day running!” said Broberg, who eventually finished second to Norway’s Espen Kofstad in the final Challenge Tour Rankings last season.
“But the positives were I scrambled well and made a few big putts so I’m happy with result more than the performance.
“My driving was wild, I was pulling everything but fortunately I got away with it and things went my way in terms of how everyone else played and I got a great finish in the end.”
After finding the water twice on the closing 18th, Bourdy slipped back into a share for third place on 11 under par, leaving Broberg alone in second to claim the sizeable runner’s up cheque of €172,500 – almost €50,000 more than he earned in the whole of last season on the Challenge Tour.
He continued: “It’s amazing to get off to such a good start in The Race to Dubai in my first season as a European Tour Member and it sets me up pretty good for the new season.
“But I still want to keep calm at this point and not set my aims too high. Like I’ve been saying all week the first goal is just to keep my card.
“It’s good to have a break now over Christmas and New Year and hopefully I can get into Abu Dhabi and the Desert Swing. I’ve never played any of those venues or been to those sorts of places so that would be a new experience.”
There were further encouraging performances from other European Tour rookies embarking on their first seasons on The European Tour in South Africa, including Bjorn Akesson, who finished in a tie for 25th place at Leopard Creek, Eddie Pepperell and Espen Kofstad (tied 30th), Max Kieffer and Matteo Delpodio (tied 37th) and JB Hansen (44th).