Lawrence finishes 5th in DP World Tour Championship

One more birdie. One less bogey. It was as close as that for Thriston Lawrence as he closed his DP World Tour Championship campaign with a six-under-par 66 on Sunday to finish in a share of fifth on 17-under-par.

At 18-under, or better still 19-under, Lawrence would almost certainly have wrapped up his PGA Tour playing privileges. As it is, the South African Open champion finished 19th on the final Race to Dubai rankings, just a spot or two outside what would have been a career windfall.

It was a good final round for Lawrence, with seven birdies and a bogey taking him to four shots behind the winner, Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark. Hojgaard reeled off five birdies in a row after dropping a shot on the 12th, and he roared to what was eventually a two-stroke edge over Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Wallace of England and Norway’s Viktor Hovland.

If Lawrence is to have any regrets – and he shouldn’t – he will look back on missing out on birdies on two of the par-fives, the seventh and the 14th in his final round. He narrowly missed a makeable eagle putt on the par-five 18th too after a 224-yard approach he lasered inside 16 feet.

But he should take heart, rather than be regretful, from a season during which he became South Africa’s top-ranked player according to the Official World Golf Ranking, and cemented his place amongst Europe’s elite.

The other South African who made into the season-finale was Zander Lombard. He stayed at 32nd in the Race to Dubai rankings after a closing two-under-par 70 saw him finish on 10-under-par in a share of 22nd.

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