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Ockie Strydom claims maiden DP World Tour title at Leopard Creek

Ockie Strydom claims maiden DP World Tour title at Leopard Creek

Ockie Strydom secured his maiden DP World Tour title in style, producing a back-nine birdie blitz on day four to win the Alfred Dunhill Championship by two shots.

Overnight co-leader Strydom remained in a share of the lead as he reached the turn on Sunday following a roller-coaster front nine which saw him open with five successive pars before going birdie-bogey-birdie-double bogey from the sixth hole.

The South African then found his very best form after the turn, reeling off birdies at the tenth, 11th, 13th and 14th to open up a commanding three-shot lead.

And he cruised to victory from there, signing for a closing 69 to finish the tournament on 18 under par and enter the DP World Tour winner's circle for the first time at the age of 37.

Adrian Otaegui finished alone in second on 16 under after carding four birdies and no bogeys in his final-round 68 at Leopard Creek Country Club.

Laurie Canter was another shot further back in third, one ahead of Aaron Cockerill, Oliver Bekker and Branden Grace.

Strydom and Scott Jamieson began the day tied at the top on 15 under and were perhaps fortunate not to have been caught by the large chasing pack after they each parred the opening five holes.

Home favourite Strydom opened his birdie account with a ten-foot putt at the sixth to lead on his own but gave the shot straight back at the par-three seventh after missing the green.

He produced a wonderful iron shot at the eighth to set up a close-range birdie which returned him to the top of the pile, but he surrendered a double bogey on the ninth after finding the water with his second shot there.

A bounce-back birdie followed at the tenth as Strydom holed from around eight feet, and he made it back-to-back gains after chipping to tap-in range on the par-four 11th.

He gave himself an outside birdie chance at the short 12th but had to settle for par there before getting up and down from a bunker for a birdie on the 13th.

Strydom kept his foot on the gas and extended his lead to three shots after sending his approach at the 14th to within ten feet and sinking the putt.

After just missing his birdie try at the 15th, Strydom saved par on the 16th and 17th to head to the last in a commanding position.

And he found the green with his approach into the long 18th before closing with a stress-free par to clinch the trophy.

Strydom said: "It feels good. I’ve finally done it. To do it on Leopard Creek as well is something special.

"It's nice. I think my plans just changed a little bit!

"Everyone here, thank you. My host that had me this week, unbelievable, all credit to him; my wife, probably crying at home; my parents crying at home; my caddie - thanks a lot.

"It's my favourite place, this. The course is looking phenomenal - the best I've ever seen it.

"It's the bush. I'm calm in the bush. My first win was in the bush and now we're back in the bush.

"I'm just happy."

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