From DP World Tour
Louis Oosthuizen made it back-to-back DP World Tour wins after prevailing in an enthralling final-day battle at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
The South African entered round four at Heritage La Réserve Golf Club with a one-shot lead but soon saw that disappear as playing partner Jacques P de Villiers, England’s Laurie Canter and the charging Sebastian Söderberg all staked a claim.
It was nip and tuck over a dramatic back nine in the Indian Ocean but in the end Oosthuizen’s 69 was enough to hand him a two-shot victory over Canter at 17-under.
South African De Villiers, Swede Söderberg – who carded the lowest round of the day with a 63 – and England’s Daniel Brown finished at 14-under, one clear of South Africa’s Jayden Schaper.
Oosthuizen’s victory also saw Min Woo Lee crowned the winner of the DP World Tour’s Opening Swing, handing the Australian $200,000 and a place in the second part of the DP World Tour season, the Back 9.
The triumph at the weather-delayed Alfred Dunhill Championship last time out was Oosthuizen’s first for five years but he now has two in six days, with this week’s coming over a course he designed with Peter Matkovich.
“Golf is the strangest thing,” he said. “The last five weeks I’ve not done a lot with golf, I’ve played a few rounds and when I got to Leopard Creek I was working on a small little thing. I started hitting it really good and I know I’m putting well and then I just carried on with that momentum.
“I started off very poorly and that errant second shot on 16 made it interesting but I hit a few good shots coming in… I’m glad I held onto it.
“I’m glad I could pull this off this week, it’s sort of a dream come true being able to play a tournament on a golf course you helped design and end up winning it.
“This is the first event my daughters have been to where I won, this is very special.”
Both Oosthuizen and De Villiers dropped shots after missing the green at the fourth and there was a two-shot swing on the par-five next as Oosthuizen needed a drop off the tee and De Villiers got up and down for birdie.
Canter had made a two-putt birdie on the par-five and he followed it with another gain from eight feet on the driveable sixth but De Villiers made an excellent up-and-down after finding a tricky spot off the tee on the same hole to lead alone.
Oosthuizen also took advantage of the short par-four despite finding sand off the tee, with an excellent pitch at the par-five eighth helping him move back into a share of top spot.
The 41-year-old then holed a very long putt at the 10th to lead alone and both he and De Villiers made two-putt birdies on the par-five 12th before the latter got back into a share following a brilliant second after missing the green at the driveable par-four 13th.
Canter had done well to save par after missing the green at the ninth and 10th and he kept himself right in the mix, making two putts from the fringe on the 12th and driving the 13th to be just one shot back.
De Villiers joined him at 15-under after a three-putt on the 15th and Oosthuizen was two ahead when a beautiful pitch on the same hole spun back to tap-in range.
The lead was cut to one after a ragged Oosthuizen tee-shot and second at the 16th and De Villiers’ chance was gone after missing the green at the par-three 17th.
Canter could not take advantage of the par-five 18th as he signed for a bogey-free 68 to hand Oosthuizen a one-shot lead coming down the last and a two-putt birdie extended the winning margin, with De Villiers making par for a 71.
Söderberg twice held the lead and set the clubhouse target earlier in the day before the later groups edged clear, recovering from an opening bogey with 10 birdies as he came home in 29.
Brown was bogey-free in his 65, making birdies on the fifth, seventh, 12th, 13th, 15th, 17th and last.
Schaper sandwiched five birdies with bogeys on the fourth and 17th in his 69 to finish a shot ahead of countrymen Thomas Aiken, Lyle Rowe and Darren Fichardt and two clear of American John Catlin.