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Coetzee claims first Euro title

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Published : 2014-02-10 19:32
Updated : 2014-02-10 19:32

JOHANNESBURG (AP) ― George Coetzee came from four shots back to win the Joburg Open, his first European Tour title, and a place at the British Open on a profitable Sunday for the South African.

Coetzee’s final-round 6-under 66, with six birdies and no bogeys, took him to 19-under 268 overall and past compatriots Thomas Aiken and Justin Walters, the overnight co-leaders.

The 27-year-old Coetzee was flawless on the East Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club to clinch his maiden title in his 107th tour event, a sequence that included 24 top-10 finishes.

“I don’t know what I’m feeling,” he said. “I’m lost for words. I’ve been waiting a while and I started doubting so I’m very happy.”

Coetzee won by three shots from England’s Tyrrell Hatton (66), South Korea’s Jeong Jin (71) and Walters (73), who needed an eagle on the last to take Coetzee to a playoff and made bogey instead. Jeong and Walters claimed the other two British Open places on offer at Royal Joburg, with Hatton missing out because his world ranking was lower than the two he tied with for second, the European Tour said.

Aiken struggled to a 74 and was tied for fifth on 15 under with Englishmen Andy Sullivan and Matthew Baldwin and Spaniard Alvaro Quiros.

Charl Schwartzel, No. 4 in the Race to Dubai and the highest-placed player on Europe’s money list competing in Johannesburg, was tied for 59th after a second straight 72.

Allianz Championship

BOCA RATON, Florida (AP) ― After opening with a Champions Tour record-tying 60 on Friday, Michael Allen didn’t want to make the wrong kind of history Sunday in the final round of the Allianz Championship.

“I didn’t want to be known as the guy who shot the lowest round on the Champions Tour and didn’t win,” Allen said.

Allen has no such worries after a two-putt birdie on the second hole of a playoff helped him beat Duffy Waldorf and win his sixth Champions Tour title.

After Allen holed out on the par-5 18th, Waldorf had a chance to extend the playoff, but missed an 8-foot birdie putt after finding the front bunker in two. Allen could have won in regulation, but missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole.

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