Van Tonder finishes 19th in Dubai, misses DP World Tour Champs

Daniel van Tonder won’t play in the European Tour’s climactic DP World Tour Championship next week, but he closed out his first year on the European Tour solidly on Sunday with a closing four-under-par 68 in the AVIV Dubai Championship.

He climbed five places into the top 20 with his five birdies and a bogey giving him a share of 19th at 16-under-par as the tournament was won by current Joburg Open champion Joachim B Hansen of Denmark. Hansen also had a four-under 68 to reach 23-under, giving him a one-stroke win over Bernd Wiesberger of Austria and Francesco Laporta of Italy.

Van Tonder made three birdies on his opening nine, and then two birdies and a bogey on his way home to finish as the top South African in the field after Dean Burmester had led the way for the first three rounds. Burmester carded a second consecutive one-under in the final round to slip 20 places down the leaderboard, his total of 13-under giving him a share of 44th.

Zander Lombard, like Van Tonder, closed with a 68 to climb to 24th on 15-under. Justin Harding had a three-under 69 in the final round to finish on 11-under in a share of 55th. Darren Fichardt chipped in for eagle on the last to card a 71 and a share of 59th. Crucially for Fichardt, that sewed up his European Tour card for next season.

Haydn Porteous, on the other hand, wasn’t able to do enough with his closing 71. At six-under in a share of 64th, he climbed just two places into 217th on the Race to Dubai with just the top 123 keeping their cards. Lombard will also not keep his card as he finished the season in 156th.

Van Tonder, although he won’t play in the final event, will keep his card, and Burmester goes into the DP World Tour Championship in 19th place on the Race to Dubai. Harding is in 26th, Garrick Higgo in 28th and Christiaan Bezuidenhout in 37th.

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