Monday, November 28, 2011

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Hennie Otto recorded a par on No. 18 for a one-stroke victory over Austria's Bernd Wiesberger at the South African Open on Sunday.

Home favorite Otto finished with an even-par 72 and a 14-under total of 274 for his second European Tour title.

Wiesberger shot a 4-under 68 during the final round at the Serengeti course. He had five birdies and a bogey.

After wobbling with bogeys at Nos. 13, 15 and 16, overnight leader Otto birdied the 17th and held on for his first tour win since the Italian Open in 2008.

``The first win is always the nicest win,'' said Otto, who grew up in nearby eastern Johannesburg. ``But this one makes it special because it's our national open. You dream of these things ... you must enjoy it.

``The names that are on there (the trophy). You can be proud of it.''

Retief Goosen shot a 73 and was tied for sixth at 10 under. Defending champion Ernie Els had three double bogeys in his 79 and finished 5 over for tournament.

England's Richard McEvoy closed with a 68 to grabbed a share of third alongside home players Ockie Strydom (69) and Thomas Aiken (72) at 11 under.

Searching for a third South African Open title, Goosen managed just two birdies and three bogeys in his final round to slip from a tie for second after the third round.

Otto started the final round three clear but struggled on the back nine and slipped into a tie with Wiesberger, who had already finished.

But Otto picked up a crucial birdie on 17 that gave him the lead again.

``I just got anxious,'' he said. ``I hit some good putts that didn't go in. Even my caddie said to me 'Take it easy, we will make it.'''

The 35-year-old Otto won $210,000, which moved him into the top 60 in the Race to Dubai and qualified him for the season-ending Dubai World Championship.


 

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