Richard Sterne Secures Record Win In South Africa


South African Richard Sterne produced a faultless closing round 64 to claim a seven-stroke victory over Charl Schwartzel at the Johannesburg Open.

The 31-year-old from Pretoria set a new tournament record of 27-under-par and in doing so secured his place at the lucrative Accenture Matchplay event in Arizona this month.

Sterne was never troubled after overnight joint-leader Trevor Fisher Jr saw his challenge collapse with a one-over-par final round.

The win at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club comes after the South African was second to Stephen Gallacher in Dubai last week, and the two events help move him to the top of the European Tour's money list.

Johannesburg native Schwartzel shot eight birdies in his closing 66 to finish on 20-under, while a day’s equal best 64 from Portugal’s Ricardo Santos, saw him finish a shot further back in a tie for third with South African George Coetzee and Felipe Aguilar of Chile.

Scotland’s David Drysdale finished as the best-placed British golfer, tied for 11th, while Tommy Fleetwood tied for 13th after a closing 69.

After his record-breaking display, Sterne said: “It was a pretty special day. It is quite tough coming from a good week into another week; you kind of do expect to play well, but I got off to such a good start on the West Course and felt comfortable.

"Having won here before I do enjoy the place and that is why I keep coming back. It is a big year. I have got off to such a nice start so hopefully I can keep it going."

The win moves Richard Sterne up to 55th in the world rankings, and a stong performance at the Accenture World Matchplay could secure him a berth at The Masters.

Current Race To Dubai Leaderboard

1. Richard Sterne (RSA) £384,946
2. Scott Jamieson (SCO) £373,102
3. Charl Schwartzel (RSA) £331,229
4. Jamie Donaldson (WAL) £329,946
5. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) £311,335
6. Chris Wood (ENG) £281,851
7. Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) £277,250
8. Stephen Gallacher (SCO) £268,806
9. George Coetzee (RSA) £255,245
10. Steve Webster (ENG) £228,629

Below are the clubs that Sterne used to claim victory:

Driver: TaylorMade R11 10.5°
Fairway woods: TaylorMade, RBZ Tour 14.5° &  TaylorMade, RBZ Tour 17.5° 
Irons: TaylorMade R9 TP (4-9)          
Wedges: Titleist, Vokey SM4 48°, 52° & 56° and Cleveland, 588 RTX 60°
Putter: Odyssey, White Ice 2-Ball V-Line
Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP5
Shoe: Duca Del Cosma