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Bezuidenhout claims glory at Leopard Creek

South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout claimed his second victory in a memorable year as he won the Alfred Dunhill Championship by four strokes at Leopard Creek.

Bezuidenhout bounced back from a front nine where he dropped three shots in two holes to make three crucial birdies on the back nine to close with a 69 and a winning 14-under-par total.

This was his second victory this year after winning the Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Sunshine Tour in February, and it came two weeks after he made his debut in The Masters where he finished tied 38th.

It’s also his second European Tour title after his victory in last year’s Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters.

“I’m really pleased I pulled it off,” said a delighted Bezuidenhout. “Leopard Creek has always been a special place for me, and the golf course this week was immaculate. You don’t get much better than this. I’ve always wanted to win this tournament.”

A group of four players finished tied second on 10-under-par including South Africa’s Jayden Schaper, England’s Richard Bland, American Sean Crocker and Poland’s Adrian Meronk.

Bezuidenhout started the final round three shots behind Meronk, but the Pole struggled with a final round of 76. The door was briefly open for Schaper as he moved to the top of the leaderboard, but then a back nine of 40 crushed his title hopes as he closed with a 75.

Bezuidenhout admitted he also thought he might be out of the running after his double bogey on the 7th and then a bogey on the 8th .

“I thought after that double bogey it would be tough to come back from there. It was tough out there. We played in a two-club wind that was swirling all over the place. You stood over your ball and it was downwind, and then when you hit it was suddenly into the wind.

“The pins were also tucked away on the greens. I just tried to play clever golf today. But all credit to my caddie. He stuck in there with me today and we pulled it through together,” he said.