Louis Oosthuizen came from five shots back to overtake overnight leader Scott Jamieson and win the Volvo Champions by one stroke on Sunday, shooting a 6-under-par 66 to deny the Scotsman a second straight European Tour victory in Durban.
Jamieson held a seemingly commanding lead going into the final round but managed only a 72 after narrowly missing a chip for eagle on the 18th hole. Oosthuizen, meanwhile, made seven birdies before a lone bogey on the 16th to finish with a 16-under total of 272 at Durban Country Club.
It was Oosthuizen’s sixth career European Tour win and elevated him to a career-high fourth in the world rankings.
”I played very well and hit some great shots, and I’m very happy to start the year like this,” the South African said. ”I somehow like winning my first event of the season, and it’s always good to start in your own country because it feels more relaxed.”
Jamieson won the Nelson Mandela Championship in December for his first European Tour victory and looked headed for a second title when he built a five-shot lead on Saturday. But he followed two early birdies with a double bogey on the par-4 fifth hole Sunday and then dropped another shot on the 16th.
”Louis is major champion; there’s no shame in losing to him,” Jamieson said. ”I gave it my all, but it wasn’t to be.”
Oosthuizen gradually erased the Scotsman’s lead before overtaking him with his sixth birdie of the day on the 11th hole. He added another birdie on 14 before a short miss for par on the 16th. Jamieson still nearly managed to force a playoff, but his chip on the 18th stopped just inches short of the cup.
”I knew I had to start well to remind Scott that we were still chasing him, and I was very chuffed to be in the lead by the 11th,” Oosthuizen said. ”I’ve never been one to start celebrating before I know I’ve won for sure, and Scott’s chip was unbelievable.”
Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee shot a 68 to secure third place, two shots ahead of three-time major champion Padraig Harrington, who also carded a 68.
England’s Danny Willett (68) and Frenchman Julien Quesne (71) tied for fifth. Defending champion Branden Grace finished with a 67 to end his title defense in 10th place. Crowd favorite Ernie Els rolled in an eagle on the par-5 10th to raise a cheer, but he ended his first tournament of the year in a tie for 18th place after a final-round 70.