Ross Fisher (Getty Images)
Ross Fisher overcame a gallant charge from Michael Hoey before eventually coasting to a three shot victory at the Tshwane Open.
Having started the day five shots clear, Hoey reduced the deficit to just one after 11 holes, but then double bogeyed the 12th after finding water with his approach.
Fisher then eagled the long 15th from 25 feet to extinguish any realistic hopes the chasing pack may have harboured, as he secured his fifth European Tour title and first since 2010 with a closing round of 70.
That gave him a 20 under par winning total, three clear of Hoey and South African Danie Van Tonder, with Spanish Qualifying School winner Carlos Del Moral a shot further back.
"I'm thrilled to get over the line," Fisher said.
"It was a testing day with the weather conditions and playing with Mike he put up a great challenge for me.
"I set a target of trying to go out there and shoot in the 60s and almost managed to do it. I had a little mishap on the last but I'm just glad to be standing here talking to you as champion."
Fisher admitted his eagle on the 15th had helped to settle any potential nerves.
"It's been pretty good to me this week (the 15th hole)," he said.
"There have been a couple of eagles, but that was a big putt there.
"I know I was only a couple ahead. To hit a nice shot there and have a good look at three and to see it drop - I think I went four shots clear with only three to play I knew I could coast in.
"There was a little wobble on a few of those holes and I managed to make a couple of good par saves on 16 and 17.
"It would have been nice to shoot 69 but unfortunately I missed one on the last. I'm not going to complain."
Hoey had quickly set about chipping away at Fisher’s five shot overnight advantage as the final round began in Centurion.
The 33 year old Fisher birdied the first after an excellent approach, but gave the shot back at the short third.
Hoey had also converted from inside ten feet at the first, and a magnificent three wood approach to the par five fourth gave him a 15 foot eagle chance that the five-time European Tour winner duly accepted.
Fisher went three in front when he holed from 20 feet at the seventh and Hoey missed his birdie effort from half that distance.
However, the roles were reversed at the next as 35 year old Hoey reached the green at the par five in two and birdied, with Fisher having to settle for par after his pitched third shot finished 20 feet short of the pin.
Hoey then closed the gap to just one shot with a birdie from 30 feet at the 11th, before the tide turned decisively at the next in favour of World Number 82 Fisher - Hoey striking his approach from the middle of the fairway into the lake beside the green and running up a six.
Hoey eventually signed for a closing 68, while Van Tonder was bogey-free in his round of 66.
“I just lost concentration with my second at the 12th and that cost me,” said Hoey, who has converted half of his top ten finishes into victories. “Apart from that there wasn’t much wrong, but golf is a fine line.
“Ross was a solid player this week and I’m happy to have some consistency - I’ve never been consistent, but I was quite consistent this week.
“It’s nice to be up there and not win; I know that sounds crazy, but normally I just win. For me to finish top three without winning is a good start.”