Westwood back in the winners’ circle

Lee Westwood produced a stunning closing round of 64 to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player – his first win since 2014 and his first with girlfriend Helen Storey on the bag.

The Close House attached professional and Newcastle resident entered the final day at Gary Player Country Club three shots behind leader Sergio Garcia but an eagle on the second put him at the top of the leaderboard, and set up an enthralling three-way battle between those two and Louis Oosthuizen.

The trio went blow for blow and the former world number one birdied five of his last eight holes to get to 15 under-par and collect his first Rolex Series title. Garcia signed for a 70 to finish at 12 under-par, one shot ahead of Oosthuizen who closed with a 69.

Following the win, Lee said: “I’m a bit emotional to be honest. You’re never sure whether you’re going to be able to do it again.

“Until now my emotions have felt really under control, which is what I’ve been working hard on. I was just trying to hit fairways, stick to my game plan and hit it in the right places.

“I’ve got a bit of a process that I’m going through with my golf swing and I’m starting to see better shots. The seven iron into 17 is probably one of the best shots I’ve ever hit.

“It’s just nice to do it again under pressure and win against a couple of quality players at the end there. I can’t wait to watch the highlights to be honest – I hit so many good shots coming in.”

Westwood’s triumph was his fourth at Gary Player Country Club after the Sunshine Tour’s Dimension Data Pro Am in 2000 and this event in 2010 and 2011.

The 45-year-old’s last victory on the European Tour came at the 2014 Maybank Malaysian Open and this win takes his tally to 24 wins on the European Tour and 43 worldwide titles.