Brilliant Björn triumphs in Sun City

12/8/2013 11:15:00 AM
Thomas Bjorn  (Getty Images)
Thomas Bjorn (Getty Images)

Thomas Björn produced a stunning 65 to overcome a similarly Herculean effort from Sergio Garcia in the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.

The Dane played the back of the Gary Player County Club in four under par as two eagles stunned his rivals.

As a result, he ended the tournament on 20 under to edge out Garcia – who also struck 65 – and Jamie Donaldson.

"This is right up there with the best days of my career," said Bjorn.

"You never forget your first victory, and then my win against Tiger in Dubai when I went toe-to-toe with him for four days and came out top was special, but winning here in the way that I did against a field of this quality is up there.

"I knew I had to shoot something low and then see what Jamie was doing. It turned out that it was Sergio and every time I saw a leaderboard he was making birdies. I am very proud of the way I played today - it's a very special day in my career."

It was Donaldson who led the way entering Sunday having been a model of consistency this week, hitting 67s either side of a second round 66.

He began in the manner you might expect given his advantage heading into the final day, producing four successive pars.

Birdies at five and seven added some impetus; however, Donaldson gave a shot back at the ninth to ensure he had company in the shape of Garcia at the summit.

With his iron play stupendous, the Spaniard began with back to back gains that were complemented by three pars in a row.

As solid a beginning as that was, further fireworks were necessary and he proved up to the challenge, producing a streak of four birdies from the sixth.

All the while, Björn had stayed hot on their heels courtesy of strokes picked up at two, six and nine.

It was after the turn, though, that he really caught fire, producing a stunning eagle at ten to suddenly leapfrog the pair.

Pars thereafter kept Björn in prime position but, having been joined by Garcia, he picked up a further two shots at 14 to reclaim the lead.

It was that effort that ultimately derailed the challenge from the Ryder Cup Winner, whose bogey at 16 ruined successive gains.

Three stokes in front by that point, the veteran Björn did not blink as pars at the next two virtually sealed his triumph, so much so that a drop on 18 meant little. He ultimately finished two strokes ahead of Garcia and Donaldson.

The latter ended his week with a disappointing 70, a birdie on 17 representing his only one coming in.