2013 Joburg Open result: overnight deficit too Sterne test for Schwartzel

2013 Joburg Open result: overnight deficit too Sterne test for Schwartzel

Having led – or at least shared the lead – for the majority of the event, it’s no surprise to see Richard Sterne walk away the 2013 Joburg Open title.

joburg open leaderboard final

joburg open leaderboard final

Having slipped from the OWGR rankings following almost two years of convalescence and training after being diagnosed with arthritis in his mid-twenties, Sterne was a man on a mission this week in is home nation of South Africa.

Perhaps the real surprise of the final day’s play at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Gold Club East Course was the tail-off of joint overnight leader Trevor Fisher Junior.

Whilst Sterne was on his way to an accomplished and record -27 for this event, dropping only one shot along the way, similarly equalling a record set by Tiger Woods in pro-competition, Fisher Jnr’s day was conversely woeful.

Schwartzel proved ultimate threat to Sterne

Indeed, it was the well-fancied Charl Schwartzel who would be the greatest threat to Richard Sterne in the end.

But even the previous Joburg Open double-winner’s final 68 was no match for the new double-winner of this event’s day four 66, seeing Sterne run out champion by an amazing 7 shots.

Last week, Sterne showed the rest of the European Tour that he’s back and means business in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

He led there at the cut, too, but was eventually overcome by Stephen Gallacher. He obviously learned a valuable lesson and took the inspiration into the last day in Johannesburg.

South African golf prominent on European Tour

It’s perhaps fitting that Schwartzel should come runner-up behind his fellow countryman in this seventh staging of the Joburg Open.

South African golfers have now won 12 of the last 52 European Tour events, Schwartzel prominent amongst those title winners.

In the post-tournament interviews, Sterne revealed how Schwartzel had been an inspiration to the now-31-year old in his battle for fitness against the arthritis that saw him drop outside the world’s top 1,000 golfers.

Sterne wanted a piece of that very action and, after being so close last week, was not going to let the opportunity slip this.

Sterne will have sights on Majors qualification

An even bigger springboard for Sterne, who now tops this year’s Race to Dubai – an event that should be interesting with so many European golfers focusing on the PGA Tour this year – is to claw his way into the OWGR top fifty.

All things being equal, he’ll be in the top sixty tomorrow when all of the results from the Joburg Open and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California have been slung into the mixer.

To gain automatic qualification for this year’s Golf Majors, a top fifty OWGR spot guarantees an invitation. You wouldn’t bet against that development, given Sterne’s current form.

Next week, we stay in South Africa for the Africa Open. With Schwartzel off over to the US to play the Northern Trust Open, could Sterne make it a hat trick of top two finishes in successive weeks?  He’s kept his place in my team, that’s for sure.

10-tee-20-vision team - 130207 - joburg open - final

D 10-tee-20-vision team – 130207 – joburg open – final

And talking of which,  just a final word about our 10-Tee-20-Vision Fantasy Race to Dubai team.

Okay, ask me who picked the 1-2-3 for this here event in Joburg?  That’s right – read the team-sheet to the left and weep!

Did I have a bet on it?

No.

Am I pig-sick?

Yes.

Will I make the same mistake for next week’s PGA European Tour event?

Er, probably…

…so I guess it should be me doing the crying into the ‘why-oh-why?’ hanky this weekend.

So take heed, and don’t be a dingbat like me.

Here’s the list of invitations for next week’s Africa Open if you’re thinking of entering a team.

In the meantime, I’m going to give 10-Tee-20-Vision an overhaul and see if we can’t do better than finish inside the top 6,000 teams next week as we did this.

Tip of the week: fill half your team with South African golfers; definitely Richard Sterne, but not Ernie Els or Charl Schwartzel as they’ll be in America.

Good luck.  And if your want to drop a link to your Fantasy team in the comments, I’ll give it a tweet and we’ll have a bit of banter about it next weekend.

Have a great week, everyone. And remember, before betting on a European Tour golf or PDC darts event, Get Thet, Go!

Thet Watson. x

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Joburg Open day 3: Sterne and Fisher Jnr open up 5-shot lead

On the eve of the final day of the 2013 Joburg Open, very little has changed after the first round of golf post-cut since yesterday.

English: South Africa (orthographic projection)

European Tour visits South Africa for the 2013 Joburg Open

Richard Sterne & Trevor Fisher Jnr have pulled a couple more shots clear and remain T1 after 54 holes of golf at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington in South Africa.

The two South Africans will take a five-shot lead over four other golfers currently T3 into the final day’s play in a few hours time.

Five out of the top six placed golfers after day three still represent South Africa, as was the case at the halfway point in this year’s Joburg Open, yesterday.

The only difference is that Jaco Van Zyl has exchanged places with Keith Horne; Van Zyl carded -5 for the day to join the three other golfers five off the pace on -14, whereas Horne shot a forgettable +1.

English: Felipe Aguilar during his participati...

Felipe Aguilar, Wikipedia, CC3.0 Sharealike

Aguilar only non-South African with shot at Joburg Open title

Chile’s Felipe Aguilar is still the only non-South African to be cutting it up with the home-grown golfers.  He remains the only genuine threat to prising the Joburg Open title out of South African hands.

It would be a brave fella indeed to back against either Sterne or Fisher Jnr failing to cross the line as champion, given their 5-shot advantage.

But Charl Schwartzel, amongst those T3 five shots back, will want to do whatever he can to win the Joburg Open for the third time in four years.  Branden Grace robbed him of a straight hat-trick last year; he’ll want to put that right, tomorrow.

I say ‘tomorrow’.  The final day tees off in less than five hours from now, with the lower half of the draw in this Race to Dubai event teeing off on the back nine at 6:30 local time (GMT +2).

The top half tee off same time on the front nine.  Oddly, unlike day three, the pairings for the final day will actually play in trios.

Van Zyl (-14/T3) joins leaders Sterne and Fisher Jnr (-19/T1) to tee off at 8:20am, making the final pairing an all-South African affair.

The other three T3 golfers, Schwartzel, Coetzee and Aguilar, set out ten minutes earlier.  For my money, Charl will be in the clubhouse praying for Sterne or Fisher Jnr to drop a shot at the last.

Can’t see it though; what about you?

  • Can anyone mount a challenge from five shots – or further – back?  
  • Or is it Richard Sterne vs Trevor Fisher Jnr all the way?